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Causal vs Casual relationships in single mother households, Violence, Poverty

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Dear Silent Visitors,  


I have some more news for you.  Actually, this is over 4 years old in Australia, but apparently news to large sectors of America (North, USA):



UNLIKE  Family Violence Prevention Fund, or, say,


White House.Gov (Issues – Family)



Australia actually USES the word “mothers” in conjunction with the words “Families” in a public forum.



When I saw, I was so excited, I had to post it.  


I have also some more initials for you:







(Australia: 2005, NCSMC, Inc. writes SCFHS, Gov. (Say, Huh?)





22 April 2005 



Committee Secretariat 

Standing Committee on Family and Human Services 

Parliament House 


fhs.reps@aph.gov. au 


Dear Secretariat, 


Please find attached the submission of the National Council of Single Mothers and their Children to 

the Commonwealth Parliamentary Inquiry into Balancing Work and Family. 


This submission specifically addresses the second term of reference in relation to single mothers. In 

particular, we would like to draw to the committee’s attention how experiences of violence impact 

on single mothers’ transitions from welfare to paid employment. We note that this is an area that is 

largely unexplored and urge the committee to consider the need to rectify this. 

NCSMC would welcome the opportunity to make oral submissions to the Secretariat in support of 

this submission. 


If you have any need for further information with respect to the issues raised, please contact myself 

or the Executive Officer, Jac Taylor. 


Yours sincerely, 

Dr Elspeth Mclnnes 



NCSMC National Council of Single Mothers and their Children Inc. 

220 Victoria Square Tarndanyangga Adelaide SA 5000 Ph: 0882262505 Fax: 0882262509 

ncsmc~ncsmc.orc.au http://www.ncsmc.org.au 


About NCSMC 

The National Council of Single Mothers and their Children Incorporated was formed in 1973 to 

advocate for the rights and interests of single mothers and their children to the benefit of all sole 

parent families, including single father families. 

NCSMC formed to focus on single mothers’ interests at a time when women who were pregnant 

outside marriage were expected to give up their children for adoption by couple families and there 

was no income support for parents raising children alone. Today most single mothers are women 

who have separated from a partner. Issues of income support, child support, paid work, housing, 

parenting, child-care, family law, violence and abuse continue as concerns to the present day. 

NCSMC has member organisations in states and territories around Australia, many of which also 

provide services and support to families after parental separation. 

NCSMC aims to: 

Ensure that all children have a fair start in life; 

Recognise single mother families as a viable and positive family unit; 

Promote understanding of single mothers and their children in the community that they may 

live free from prejudice; 

To work for improvements in the social economic and legal status of single mothers and 

their children. 

This submission will focus primarily on the second term of reference: 

Making it easier for parents who so wish to return to the paid workforce. 

NCSMC wishes to highlight that existing legislation does not allow single mothers on income 

support to choose the circumstances of return to work as they are compelled to undertake certain 

activities as part of their “mutual obligation”. It would appear that the Australian Government 

intends to significantly increase these obligations, making choice even more limited. Thus, 

NCSMC wishes the committee to note the double standard that currently applies where single 

mothers face compulsion to undertake paid work, compared to couple mothers who may choose 

their involvement.1 

Parental separation and violence 

Single-parent households comprise more than one in five households with dependent children in 

Australia and comprise one the fastest growing family forms (Wise, 2003). Most single parents are 

1 Refer to Appendix A for NCSMC’s Guiding Principles to further welfare reform. 


mothers, with nine out of 10 children living with their mothers after parental separation (ABS 

1999). The rise in single-parent households is primarily attributable to the rising rate of separations 

between parents, and violence is implicated as a strong driver of relationship breakdown. Recent 

Australian research into the reasons for divorce found that, after general communication 

breakdown, violence and addictions were the most common reasons women gave for ending the 

relationship (Wolcott & Hughes 1999). 

This reasoning is supported statistically in the ABS (1996) survey of women’s safety, which found 

that single women with an ex-partner were the most likely to have experienced violence, and the ex- 

partner was the most probable assailant. The population survey found that 23% of adult women 

who had ever partnered had experienced violent assault by a current partner or former partner, but 

single women who had previously been partnered were at highest risk of experiencing assault, with 

42% reporting violence at some time during their relationship (ABS 1996, p. 51). Family court data 

indicates that 66% of separations involving children have violence or abuse (Family Law Pathways 

Report 2001). 

The data reported in the submission are drawn from a doctoral research project undertaken in South 

Australia in the 1 990s (Mclnnes 2001), which compared the family transition experiences of single 

mothers who left violent relationships with those who did not have to content with violence.2 

Interviews were conducted with 36 single mothers, which included separated and divorced mothers 

and women who had given birth outside of an established partnership. Of the 29 women 

interviewed who became single mothers as the result of relationship break down, 18 reported that 

their relationship ended due to violence. Abuse was self-defined by respondents and always 

included physical violence and sometimes included sexual, social, financial and emotional abuse. 

The violence typically formed part of the relationship dynamic in which the mother and children 

lived in constant fear and anxiety, rather than a single explosive event. 

Labour market participation 

Only 4 of the mothers interviewed had never participated in the paid workforce, and 28 of the 36 

women were either undertaking paid work or study at the time of interview. Thus for the majority, 

paid work and/or study formed an integral part of their identity and daily experience. 

Single mothers who separated from violent relationships were less likely to be in paid work, but 

more likely to be studying, than other mothers at the time of interview. Of the 20 survivors of 

childhood and/or adult violence, 70% were mainly reliant on income support. Two-thirds of the 


mothers who were mainly reliant on income support were studying at the time of interview and 

three out of four single mother students had left violent relationships. This fits with existing 

research that found that divorced women who had been exposed to severe abuse were less likely to 

be in the paid workforce than other divorced women (Sheehan and Smyth 2000). 

The differences between single mothers’ paid work and study status according to their exposure to 

violent relationships indicates that analysis of single mothers’ economic participation cannot be 

reduced to infrastructure needs such as childcare. Women’s exposure to gendered violence and their 

responsibilities for care of children combine to qualitatively change their access to the paid 


Gender and working parents 

Australia’s paid workforce is highly gendered, where women’s work is predominantly clustered in 

low-paid part-time service work (Baker and Tippin 1999; Edwards and Magarey 1995; Pocock 

1995; Sharp and Broomhill 1988). Women’s increased participation in paid work has not produced 

a proportionate decline in their share of domestic and family work relative to men (Bittman & 

Lovejoy 1993; Hochschild 1997). Thus gender remains a clear determinant ofworkforce 

participation, reflecting women’s unpaid caring responsibilities, and the higher rewards of work 

available to men. 

Current family policy increases the risks ofunemployment for single parents. Current family policy 

pays higher rewards to mothers in couple families withdrawing from the workforce, through the 

non-means tested payment of FTB B to single income families. When mothers are not partnered 

they become subject to new participation requirements to maintain access to a subsistence income 

support payment. Current family policy is thus incoherent and inconsistent by paying some mothers 

to stop work and requiring other mothers to start work. The best protection against unemployment 

for single mothers is to enable all parents, couple and single, to make structured transitions in and 

out of the workforce as caregiving needs require over the life course. This means consideration of 

initiatives such as maternity leave and paternity leave, quality affordable child care services, 

retraining packages and subsidy entitlements for caregivers returning to work. 

2 All identifying information has been removed to protect the privacy and confidentiality of respondents. 


Single Mothers and Paid Work 

A study comparing return to work programmes for low income mothers across Australia, Canada, 

New Zealand and the United Kingdom concluded that the variation in levels of workforce activity 

required of mothers affected the level of difficulty experienced by families, but did not essentially 

change the degree or scope of poverty of single mother households (Baker and Tippin 1999). 

Along with responsibility for dependent children, low paid work in insecure jobs in a gender- 

segmented labour market prevented single mothers from gaining access to economic independence. 

Only well-paid, secure full-time jobs would enable parents to support their children on a single 

income, without any reliance on income support. 

In the Economic Consequences of Marriage Breakdown study, McDonald (1986) found that being 

in the workforce at the time of separation was the most important factor influencing post-separation 

workforce participation of mothers with dependent children. Women who had undertaken paid 

work during the marriage, particularly after the birth of the second child, were the most likely to 

continue paid work participation. Women with professional occupational experience had a higher 

workforce attachment, and better access to secure working conditions. Reporting these findings, 

Funder (1989:82) noted that decisions taken during the marriage about the gender division of paid 

work and child rearing responsibilities strongly influenced women’s post separation employment 



NCSMC recommends that government policy be reviewed to address inconsistencies that 

“encourage” single mothers, on the one hand, to enter paid work, and couple mothers, on 

the other, to stay at home. 

NCSMC recommends that family support policy be reviewed to introduce paid maternity 

leave and paternity leave, quality affordable child care services, retraining packages and 

subsidy entitlementsfor caregivers returning to work 

Factors such as the women’s level of education and history of paid work also affect their likelihood 

of paid work participation. A relatively high wage was needed to compensate for work costs and 

the loss of income support, as well as rent increases for mothers living in public housing. Research 

in Australia into sole parents leaving the income support system, has confirmed that access to well- 

paid employment with family-friendly workplace conditions and appropriate affordable childcare 

was the most sustainable path out of poverty for single mothers (Chalmers 1999:45; McHugh & 

Millar 1996; Wilson et al. 1998). 


Factors identified in previous research as producing the highest incidence of reliance on income 

support were: 

Being out of the paid workforce at time of separation; 

Not being involved in the decision to separate; 

Having an income lower than the benefit level paid; 

Having less than Year 12 schooling; and 

Not re-partnering within five to eight years (Funder 1989:85). 

The number of children in the family also affected a mother’s labour market participation with 

participation in work declining as the number of children rose (Funder 1989). In Mclnnes 2001, 72 

percent of the sample had one or two children, and four out of five of these were working or 

studying. None of the respondents with three or more children were in the paid workforce at the 

time ofinterview, although seventy percent of these were studying. 


Paid work and caring responsibilities 

In the study by Mclnnes 2001, parents felt torn between their parenting and earning roles. The dual 

demands of being the only available parent and income earner made participation in paid work a 

balancing act for many women. While mothers expected to work and earn their own income as 

their children grew older, a lack of alternative care meant they could not easily work outside 

standard office hours. 

If you have a partner it~s much easier to stay back at work. Childcare finishes atfive thirty and you have 

to be there to pick the child up. I always had to leave early to pick her up I missed out on hours of 

work. Iwas only paid by the hour (Juanita, 41, 1 child). 

It would be very difficult doing shifi work. There~s lobs that I’ve had that I wouldn’t be able to do now, 

like when I was working with young disabled people 8 hour sh~fis over a 24 hours period seven days a 

week and I]ust wouldn’t be able to get child care (Ann, 40, 1 child). 

I couldn’t possibly see howl could keep a night-time job. Childcare was something that wasn’t available 

at night in those days… My mother was prepared to have the children but only ~fItook them to her house. 

She had no room set up for them. I had to pick them up at 11 o’clock at night, take them out and put them 

in the car, and drive home (Kerry, 31, 2 children). 

Respondents stressed that being able to meet their children’s needs came first, and their ability to 

undertake paid work had to fit in around these needs. However, they did sacrifice their own needs 

especially in relation to recreation and leisure time, leading to increased isolation and stress. 

Work made me really very isolated because I was losing my energy I was coming back at about seven 

o clock in the evening and trying to cook something for her. She was screaming because.. she spent 

between ten and twelve hours in a day-care centre so she was miserable (Sasha, 42, 1 child). 


When Ifirst came back, because I was so tired and getting so little sleep, I was bursting into tears all the 

time and Ifound it very hard to look professional… I’ve had to go home during the day and have sleeps 

because I was just so knackered (Ann, 40, 1 child). 

Where mothers had made the transition into paid work some found themselves having to return to 

income support due to illness, lack of child care, lack of transport and stress. 

I can’t nurse any more I’ve got registration however I’m not able to work any more as a nurse because 

I have to take care ofeverybody including my ex. I had to accommodate my life to suit his 4fe because he 

refused to do it (Sasha, 41, 1 child). 


NCSMC recommends that ‘welfare to works policy must enable easy and fast transition between 

paid work and income support to ensure single mothers are able to meet their children ~sneeds. 

Despite their efforts to find ways to work, single mothers’ workforce participation remained 

subordinate to the demands of family for a number of reasons: P 

There was no other present parent to share care for children; 

Mothers barely saw their children when they worked full-time; 

Working full-time meant risking exhaustion; 

Children needed their remaining parent’s attention. 

For those mothers who had experienced violence, their family demands were higher due to the 

continuing impact of trauma on their own and their children’s health. Taft (2003) notes that there 

are strong links between intimate violence and damage to women s mental health, including 

depression, anxiety, substance misuse, suicidality and post traumatic stress disorder. 

Child Care 

The single mothers in the sample (Mclnnes 2001) drew on both formal and informal sources of 

care, with the most advantaged mothers being able to draw on a wider range. Informal sources 

included relatives, friends and the other parent and had the advantage of being both flexible and 

cost free. For women who had experienced violence their choices were far more limited as they 

were often isolated from both informal and formal sources of care. 

Consistent with other research (Swinbourne et al. 2000; Wijnberg & Weinger 1998), the women in 

the sample with close relationships with family found this the best form of alternative care. But not 

all women could rely on family support, especially migrant women. Women who had experienced 


childhood violence could not rely on family, and those who had experienced violence as an adult 

had been forced to move away from their ex-partner and were thus isolated from family. 

Only 13 mothers (3 6%) in the sample (Mclnnes 2001) had regular contact with their ex-partner. A 

study of labour force capacity of sole parents who shared care with the other parent found that 

mothers who shared care in a regular, co-operative, flexible and satisfactory arrangement with the 

other parent were considerably more likely to be in paid work than single mothers who did not 

share care (Dickenson et al. 1999). However, where mothers did depend on ex-partners for care 

while they undertook paid work, ex-partners were able to continue to exert control over mother’s 

activities, echoing other research findings that partners decided whether to ‘allow’ mothers to work 

in couple families (Eureka Strategic Research, 1998:68). Full time work by mothers could also 

create barriers to regular contact with the non-resident parent. When mothers were working full- 

time, weekends were their only opportunity to spend leisure time with their child, competing with 

non-resident fathers’ time. Access to care by the other parent was not possible for the women 

whose ex-partners were absent, and not in the child’s interest when the other parent was abusive. 

Survivors ofviolence thus had less access to this source of care. 

A third source of alternative care was neighbourhood networks, providing the convenience of 

locality. Like family, friends were an important resource out of hours, or when children were sick 

and could not attend school or childcare. Relocation after separation created barriers to women 

sustaining the neighbourhood friendships that had developed before their relationships ended. 

Women fleeing violence were often forced to move away form their neighbourhoods. Those who 

were able to remain in their homes during and after the separation were more likely to have access 

to neighbourhood support networks that could replace or extend family support. 

Most commonly, formal child care was used. Less flexible and more expensive, it was more 

reliable for mothers to meet work and study commitments. Survivors of violence and migrants 

were more reliant on formal childcare services. However, child care usually had to be booked in 

advance, creating difficulties for women who worked casual hours and were unsure of their child 

care needs. Cost limited mothers’ use of child care. Mothers who had experienced abuse of 

themselves or their children were often distrustful of childcare. Overall, survivors of violence 

experienced relative disadvantage in access to all sources of alternative care. 

Despite the limitations, high quality affordable, accessible childcare was important to reducing 

isolation among survivors ofviolence, migrant mothers and others who did not have ready access to 

informal care sources. The data indicate that accessible, affordable, safe child care remains 


fundamental to enabling single mothers to participate in paid work, particularly for migrant women 

and those who have survived violence. Identification and awareness of the needs of parent and 

child survivors of violence could provide considerable support to women seeking to improve their 

workforce opportunities. 


NCSMC recommends that government fund affordable, accessible, appropriate, quality child care 

places, in numbers sufficient to meet demand. 

Workforce motivations and barriers 

Poverty Trays 

Gaining financial rewards from work was important to justify the additional cost and effort of 

workforce participation for mothers, however, poverty traps undermined respondents’ motivation to 

work. Respondents in this research (Mclnnes 2001) calculated the impact of market eamings on 

their income support payments and felt there needed to be greater financial incentives to enter the 

workforce, particularly for those living in public housing, when earnings also increased rent. 

I was earning maybe one hundred and fifty extra but I had to cut it down to part-time and it just wasn’t 

worth it. Housing Trust put your rent up. Social Security takes away money and I was aboutfive dollars 

better off (Bonny, 28, 3 children). 

My rent went up over sixty dollars a week when I started working and when I complained about that they 

said ~youare already in subsidised housing what are you complaining about’ (Laurel, 38, 3 children). 

The combination of low-paid, insecure jobs with high effective marginal tax rates in income tests on 

public rental rates and income support payments, provided no economic benefit to families in public 

housing to compensate for the time pressure and the financial and family costs of going to paid 

work. Poverty traps did not as severely affect single mothers in private rental housing or 

homebuyers as earnings did not directly increase their housing costs. Survivors of violence and 

mothers without wage income capital assets were more likely to be living in public housing, and 

were thus more severely affected by poverty traps than other mothers. The paradox of poverty traps 

is that mothers with higher income earning capacity and assets are less severely affected than 

mothers living in deep poverty, in public housing, with poor income prospects. 


NCSMC recommends the removal of quadruple income test (Youth Allowance, Family Tax 

Benefit, Child Care Benefit and Child Support). 

NCSMC recommends federal and state governments cooperate to address the public housing 

rental / market earnings poverty trap. 


Access to transyort 

A key dimension of poverty and isolation among single mothers was their access to private 

transport. The study or workforce prospects of single mothers without access to private transport 

were limited, compared to those who held a driver’s licence and could afford to run a car (Mclnnes 

2001). Getting children to child care or school on public transport and then getting to workplaces, 

often required mothers to rouse children at dawn. Women living in non-metropolitan areas were at 

an even greater disadvantage due to limited services. 

I would have had to drop him at somebody’s house atfive in the morning, having got myself up and the 

baby up it would have to be a house close by… I would have to have him there including weekends when 

there was sh~fl work and it~ harder to find child care on rotating shifts (Judith, 34, 1 child). 

I had to take her in the morning on the bus, then catch another bus, with the pusher, with her bottle, her 

nappies, everything, to the child care. I then had to walk down to the day care centre, then come back 

and walk to my classes and then back to pick her up. Whew! I was walking. It was a slavery (Sasha, 42, 

1 child). 

I was catching buses. I didn’t have a licence. I was leaving home at quarter to six in the morning to be at 

work by seven and I wasn’t getting home tillfive thirty at night (Judith, 34, 1 child). 

Women’s life histories of income status, relationships, culturally scripted gender roles and 

motherhood formed part of the context in which some had not been able to learn to drive. Some 

women had grown up in low income households without a car, others had lived in relationships in 

which only men were drivers, and therefore controlled women’s mobility. Gaining a driver’s licence 

meant gaining freedom to move. 


NCSMC recommends that government provide funding to single mothers on income support to 

cover the cost of driving lessons and purchase ofdriver ‘s licence. 

Post Sevaration Violence 

Despite the widespread belief that leaving the relationship stops domestic violence, a number of 

survivors of violence reported continuing harassment, stalking, threats and physical attacks by their 

ex-partner (Mclnnes 2001). Mothers who had to maintain contact with a violent ex-partner for 

child contact found that management of their ex-partner’s violence changed, but did not necessarily 

stop after separation. Their actions were still constrained and conditioned by the need to manage 

and reduce the risk of further violence against themselves and their children. 

I still have to appease his moods. Even though we are apart I have to be careful about what the children 

might say on the phone to him so as not to rock the boat in order to protect myself to protect the 

children (Mabel, 36, 6 children). 


There was ofien conflict at exchange at access so we have been through the Family Court and had 

restraining orders put in place and conditions of access and that sort of thing (Tare, 36, 2 children). 

In cases of continuing contact between children and abusive fathers, both mothers and children 

were unable to work on recovery from their trauma, remaining hostage to the potential and actuality 

of ongoing violence. Mothers whose children had been abused by their father were presented with 

a no-win situation in which they had left the relationship to protect their children from abuse, yet 

they were required to cooperate with presenting their child for contact with the alleged perpetrator. 


NCSMC endorses the Family Law Council (2002) and Every Picture Tells a Stoiy Report 

(2004) recommendations that a national child protection service be established, improving the 

quality of child abuse investigation and evidence available to the Family Court. 

NCSMC recommends that the Family Law Act be amended to privilege child(ren) ~ safety in 

determining his/her best interests. 

Education and Work Histories 

Those in the sample (Mclnnes 2001) with little education had mainly held low paid, part time jobs 

such as cleaning, retailing or food and hospitality services. The mothers with post-secondary 

qualifications were more likely to be mainly reliant on market income than those who had no post- 

school qualification. Forty-five percent of the sample had not finished Year 12. Of these mothers 

many had held jobs with no training, no security and relatively low pay. For women who grew up 

with an abusive parent, leaving home and schooling was a way to escape the abuse. 

Women who had not succeeded at school did not expect that they would be able to handle study as 

an adult. Success at education as adults prompted women to re-evaluate their capacities and goals. 

Gendered expectations about women’s working lives, the demands of marriage and family, as well 

as experiences of violence were the main factors which had shaped single mothers’ education and 

work histories. Many respondents had left education as young women believing they would 

eventually be supported by their partners, or to escape abuse from their family. Husbands’ views on 

mothers’ workforce participation, as well as the demands of children, restricted women’s work 

during the partnership, and left many single mothers with a low income earning capacity after the 

relationship ended. 

Gaining new or updated workplace skills was an important step for single mothers who wanted to 

return to work. Study and training courses provided women with new opportunities; however, 


women were interested in careers which would support themselves and their children, rather then 

short-term low-paid job options. 

Single Mothers and Study 

Combining parenting and studying generated similar conflicts to those between paid work and 

parenting demands. Students were more able to be flexible to meet family demands, but student 

workloads were often organised around the lifestyles of young adults without dependants. Mothers 

often experienced time and family stress while studying. Not only did the demands of children and 

study conflict, but educational institutions made few allowances for the needs of carers. 

On the first day of orientation we had someone come in to talk about time management and he proceeded 

to tell single parents why they shouldn’t be at university. That was my introduction.., we all felt really 

bad. He told us you can’t be a good parent and study (Anita, 38, 2 children). 

Despite the lack of flexibility and recognition of single mothers’ family needs by some education 

institutions, access to higher education was greatly valued by women in the study. Department of 

Family and Community Services data shows that sole parents were the income support group with 

the highest rate of participation in education (Landt & Peck 2000). 

Half of the respondents (Mclnnes 2001) were enrolled in a post-secondary course at the time of 

interview. Two-thirds of these were enrolled in university and the remaining third in TAFE 

courses. Further education was seen as a way to improve their earning capacity in the longer term. 

The data showed a trend for the level of education to increase with age. Many respondents who had 

returned to study as a single mother discovered they were able to succeed educationally. Success at 

education was important to recovering a positive sense of identity and achievement, as well as 

expanding social networks and decreasing isolation. However, poverty remained a barrier to single 

mothers’ participation in education, and survivors of violent relationships often lived in deeper 

relative poverty, with less access to assets from the relationship and less access to child support. 

In summary, respondents’ motivations to begin studying were linked to their desire to achieve 

longer term career goals. Success in education offered a positive sense of self-esteem and 

achievement sufficient to persist though barriers including lost earning opportunities, costs of 

studying, risks of not getting a job on completion and the stress on the family. When the family 

experienced increased stress due to illness or other crises, mothers preferred to defer studies to 

attend to family demands. 



NCSMC recommends government promote and encourage single mothers on income support to 

undertake higher education, by subsidising places at institutions, allowing study as an approved 

activity, and ensuring the continuation of the Pensioner Education Supplement. 

Summary of Research Findings 

The impact on work and study arising from violence emerged in the research (Mclnnes 2001) as an 

issue for women in the workforce. Violence against women and children is commonly constituted 

within a welfare paradigm of social policy providing crisis housing and financial relief, while the 

legacy of violence on survivor’s work and education opportunities has received comparatively little 

attention (Danziger et al. 2000). The poverty, health impacts, isolation and loss of trust arising 

from violence affected survivors access to paid work and study and their use of alternative care 


Single mothers’ opportunities to develop market earnings were underpinned by a range of 

prerequisites which could not be assumed within the cumulative gendered effects of prolonged 

poverty, experiences of violence and responsibility for dependent others. Such prerequisites for 

labour market participation included: 

Physical safety for parent and child(ren); 

Emotional and physical health of the parent and child(ren); 

Secure housing; 

Access to transport; 

Access to appropriate child care resources; 

Access to suitable training / education; 

Access to network with employment opportunities. 

Violence negatively impacted on single mothers’ workforce and study opportunities in a number of 

complex ways, mediated by other factors: 

Survivors of violence often experienced increased family demand due to the physical, emotional 

and financial stresses of past and continuing violence, thereby reducing their sustained 

availability for other activities. 

Survivors were more restricted in access to alternative forms of care. Survivors were often 

isolated from family and friends through having to move or go into hiding. They could not 

safely call on their ex-partner to provide care, and their experiences often made them more 

distrustful of childcare. 


Survivors were more likely to have been housed in public housing, and were thus exposed to 

deeper poverty traps compared to those in privately rented or purchased housing. 

Survivors were less likely to have access to private transport, due to poverty, and never 

obtaining a driver’s licence. 

Survivors of violence as children had often left home and education to escape, placing them at 

risk of long-term disadvantage in the labour market. 

Survivors of violence carry the costs, including impaired physical and mental health of both 

child and adult targets, which impact on their capacity to participate in paid work and education. 

There are the increased financial and time costs of attendance at health services, medications, 

and disability aids. Many survivors of violence also face increased legal costs to try to protect 

themselves and their children using the state and federal courts. There is also the cost of the 

loss or damage to housing and possessions arising from the destruction of property, forced 

abandonment of home, debts arising from the relationship and forgone claims to property of the 


Policy approaches assisting mothers to seek work need to take account of the extra demands on 

survivors of violence and the responsibilities of providing care. Constructing mothers as gender- 

neutral agents in the labour market cannot adequately account for the gendered dimensions of the 

distribution of unpaid care, poverty and violence. Thus increased compulsion on single mothers to 

participate in workforce activity can be expected to create increased burdens on the most vulnerable 

families and do little to address the drivers of relative disadvantage among single mothers. 

Policy reforms such as increased financial rewards for paid work, increased access to affordable, 

quality, flexible child care and increased assistance with transport and education cost are necessary 

to supporting single mothers to improve their income-earning opportunities. Recognition of the 

impact of gendered violence on single mother’s poverty and their subsequent working opportunities 

indicates the need to dramatically improve legal responses to financially compensate mothers and 

children for violence against them, and the support their safety and recovery after separation. 


NCSMC recommends that government, in considering policies to encourage transitions from 

welfare to paid work, prioritise rights to safety, healing and recovery for all victims ofviolence, 

beyond the current scope of crisis intervention. 


NCSMC recommends that government does not overlook the imperative to consider the impact 

of violence when developing policy to encourage the transition from welfare to paid work. In 

doing so, further research specifically addressing this area will need to be undertaken. 

NCSMC recommends that government consider how it could improve the legal responses to 

victims of violence to financially compensate them for the violence suffered, and help in their 

healing and recovery. 

NCSMC recommends that government fund the provision of training and education of 

professionals, volunteers and helpers who come into contact with victims of violence. This• 

needs to include prevalence, characteristics, dynamics and consequences of violence/abuse in 

families, how to recognise it and what to do about it. Workers need to know how to go about 

prioritising responses to achieve safety, and supporting healing and resiliencefor victims. 

In addition to the above recommendations, NCSMC recommends that government implement 

thefollowing policies in recognition of the unpaid care work single mothers undertake: 

1. Increased national investment in access to retraining and education packages for 

parents and carers who haveforegone wages to meet care commitments. 

2. The development of wage subsidy packages to build worliforce attachment and skillsfor 

parents and carers who haveforegone wages to meet care commitments. 

3. A nationalflexible system of maternity leave and parental leave to support parents and 

carers who haveforegone wages to meet care commitments in the early period of 

children ‘s lives, with pathways back to employment emphasising parental choice and 


4. Affirmative action in the workplace to support women ‘s and mothers~ access to 

permanent employment with career paths and skills acquisition. 

5. Increased investment in family support services, with pathways to employment and 

education servicesfor parents and carers who haveforegone wages to meet care 



Australian Bureau of Statistics (1996) Women~ Safety After Separation, Catalogne Number 4128.0, 

AGPS, Canberra. 

Australian Bureau of Statistics (1999) Children, Australia: A Social Report, Catalogue Number 

4119.0, AGPS, Canberra. 


Baker, M. & Tippin, D. (1999) Poverty, Social Assistance and the Employability ofMothers, 

University of Toronto Press, Toronto. 

Bittman, M. & Lovejoy, F. (1993) “Domestic Power: Negotiating an Unequal Division of Labour 

within a Framework of Equality”, Australian and New Zealand Journal ofSociology, 29(3), 

pp. 302-321. 

Chalmers, J. (1999) Sole Parent Exit Study: Final Report, Social Policy Research Centre, Sydney. 

Danziger, Sandra, Corcoran, M., Danziger, Sheldon, Helflin, C., Kalil, A., Levin, J., Rosen, D., 

Seefeldt, K., Siefert, K., Tolman, R. (2000) “Barriers to the Employment of Welfare 

Recipients”, in Cherry, R. & Rodgers, W. (eds.) Prosperityfor All? The Economic Boom 

and African Americans, University of Michigan, Michigan. 

Dickenson, J., Heyworth, C., Plunkett, K., Wilson, K., (1999) “Sharing the Care of Children Post 

Separation: Family Dynamics and Labour Force Capacity”, Family Strengths Conference, 

University of Newcastle, November. 

Edwards, A. & Magarey, 5. (1995) Women in Restructuring Australia, Southwood Press, Sydney. 

Eureka Strategic Research (1998) Qualitative Research on Women~ and Families’ Workforce 

Participation Decisions, Dept. of Health and Family Services, Dept of Social Security, 

Office of the Status of Women, Canberra. 

Family Law Council (2002) Family Law and Child Protection, AGPS, Canberra. 

Family Law Pathway Advisory Group, (2001), Out of the Maze: Pathways to the Future for 

Families Separation, AGPS, Canberra. 

Funder, K. (1989) “Women’s Post Separation Workforce Participation” in Whiteford, P. (ed.) What 

Futureforthe Welfare State? Volume 5, Income Maintenance and Income Security, SPRC Reports 

and Proceedings 83, Social Policy Research Centre, Sydney. 

Hochschild, A. (1997) The Time Bind, Henry Holt & Company, New York. 

House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family and Community Affairs, (2003), Every 

Picture Tells a Story: Report on the Inquiry into Child Custody Arrangements in the Event 

of Family Separation, AGPS, Canberra. 

Landt, J. & Pech, J. (2000) “Work and Welfare in Australia: The Changing Role of Income 


Support”, 7 AIFS Conference, Sydney, 24-26 July. 

McDonald, P., (ed) (1986) Settling Up: Property and Income Distribution on Divorce in Australia, 

AIFS & Prentice Hall, Melbourne. 

McHugh, M. & Millar, J. (1996) Sole Mothers in Australia: Supporting Mothers to Seek Work, 

Discussion Paper 71, SPRC, Sydney. 

Mclnnes, E. (2001) Public Policy and Private Lives: Single Mothers, Social Policy and Gendered 

Violence , Thesis for Doctor of Philosophy, FUSA, Bedford Park. 


Mclnnes, E. (2004) Keeping Children Safe: The Links Between Family Violence and Poverty, 

Because Children Matter.~ Tackling Poverty Together, Uniting Missions National 

Conference, Adelaide. 

Mclnnes, E. (2004) The Impact of Violence on Mothers’ and Children’s Needs During and After 

Separation, Early Childhood Development and Care, 174(4), pp. 357-368. 

O’Connor, J., Orloff, A. & Shaver, 5. (1999) States, Markets, Families: Gender, Liberalism and 

Social Policy in Australia, Canada, Great Britain and the United States, Cambridge 

University Press, Cambridge. 

Pocock, B. (1995) “Women’s Work and Wages”, in Women in Restructuring Australia: Work and 

Welfare, Allen & Unwin, Sydney. 

Sharp, R. & Broomhill, R. (1988) Short Changed: Women and Economic Policies, Allen & Unwin, 


Sheehan, G. & Smyth, B. (2000) “Spousal Violence and Post Separation Financial Outcomes”, 

Australian Journal ofFamily Law, 14(2), pp. 102-118. 

Swinbourne, K., Esson, K., Cox, E. & Scouler, B. (2000) The Social Economy of Sole Parenting, 

University of Technology, Sydney. 

Taft, A., (2003), Promoting Women’s Mental Health: The Challenges of Intimate/Domestic 

Violence Against Women, Issues Paper No. 8., Australian Domestic and Family Violence 

Clearinghouse, UNSW, Sydney. 

Wilson, K., Bates, K. & Pech, J. (1998) “Parents, the Labour Force and Social Security”, Income 

Support, Labour Markets and Behaviour: A Research Agenda Conference, Background 

Paper, Dept. of Family & Community Services, Canberra, November 24-25. 

Wijnberg, M. & Weinger, 5. (1998), “When Dreams Wither and Resources Fail: the Social Support 

Systems of Poor Single Mothers”, Families in Society: The Journalfor Contemporary 

Human Services, 79(2), pp. 212-219. 

Wise, 5. (2003) Family Structure, Child Outcomes and Environmental Mediators, Research Paper 

30, AIFS, Melbourne. 

Wolcott, I. & Hughes, J. (1999) Towards Understanding the Reasons for Divorce, Working Paper 

No. 20, AIFS, Melbourne. 


Appendix 1 

Guiding Principles Sole Parents & Welfare Reform 


NCSMC recommends that the Australian Government does not increase participation requirements 

for Parenting Payment recipients for the following reasons: 

Sole parents are the most active income support recipient population undertaking paid work, 

employment assistance programs, study and training; 

Demand for employment assistance programs, training and child care places far exceeds P 


No evaluation data is yet available to determine the success or otherwise of the Australians 

Working Together legislation as implemented as at 30 September 2002, and 30 September 


NCSMC recommends that the Australian Government implements the following reforms: 

Invest in the well being ofAustralian sole parent families by increasing the number of 

places available in employment assistance programs, training and child care; 

Facilitate the uptake of such places by providing sufficient funding to allow sole parents to 

fill these places; 

Provide evaluation data so the success or otherwise ofthe existing Australians Working 

Together legislation can be determined. This should include, but not be limited to, data with 

respect to parents and others on: 

~ Movement from benefit to paid work (including casual, part time, and full time) 

~ Access to services, including return to work programs (eg JET, TTW), training 

education, and child care; 

~ Breaching rates 


To ensure proper consultation takes place, NCSMC recommends the following consultation process 

takes place: 

Public meetings to be held in each state/territory; 

A Discussion Paper is drafted by DEWR and released for public comment (by written 

submission and with reasonable time line); 

Following this, an Options Paper is drafted and released for public comment (by written 

submission and with reasonable time line). 


National Council of Single Mothers and their Children Inc. 

220 Victoria Square Tarndanyangga Adelaide SA 5000 Ph: 0882262505 Fax: 0882262509 

ncsmc(~2ncsmc.om.au http://www.ncsmc.org.au 


Assistance / Supports IServices in DEWR lan2uaael 

Retention of current Parenting Payment (pension) levels and income test (with taper rate at 

40 cents in the dollar) for existing Parenting Payment recipients and new applicants; 

There should be acknowledgement that further assistance and support is needed (both access 

to and funding of) to address the structural disadvantage faced by sole parents; 

Access to affordable, accessible, appropriate, quality child care, including before and after 

school, vacation, night-time & weekend care; 

Provision of funding for appropriate and long term substantive training and/or education, 

including the retention of the Pensioner Education Supplement (PES), as well as expansion 

of PES to those receiving Parenting Payment Partnered (PPP); 

Access to and funding for appropriate transport, noting that sole parents have a double 

transport burden (children to school and parent to work); 

Access to funding for job search costs; (noting that these costs were never factored into 

current pension amounts, as raising children alone was considered sufficient activity); 

Access to appropriate employment / return to work programs, with appropriately trained 

staff (eg TTW, JET, PSP) these programs need to be responsive to needs of sole parents 

and their children, flexible, friendly and not based on compliance; 

Access to and funding for health or other therapeutic services (parents and children) needed 

to enable a parent to engage in participation requirements; 

Access to wage subsidy programs that lead to real jobs (paid work experience); P 

Access to family friendly workplaces; 

The RTW/JET child care subsidies should extend to all PP recipients undertaking labour 

market related activity; 

Participation supplements, and/or well publicised, dedicated funds within Job Seeker 

Accounts and RTW/JET budgets to assist with the direct costs ofjob search, employment 

and education and training. 

Incentives / Removal of Disincentives IWork Incentives in DEWR 1an~uas~e1 

Retention of pension income test (taper rate at 40 cents in the dollar), and this taper rate 

should also apply to PPP recipients to encourage part time paid work; 

Removal of quadruple income test (Youth Allowance, Family Tax Benefit, Child Care 

Benefit and Child Support); 

Progressively remove anomalies that result in reduction / loss of family income once 

youngest child turns 16; 

Addressing major disincentives to repartnering (ie marriage like relationships); 

Addressing uncertainty brought about by forced participation (eg focus on meeting 

obligations demands less focus on children’s needs, ability to transfer from paid work to 


Breaking down disincentives; including cost of child care, cost of working (especially initial 

costs of work entry) 

Activities must lead to “real” jobs; 

Public housing rent increases / disincentives 

Concessions cards need to retain access for some time as it provides access to state (eg 

transport, telephone) concessions; and these concession cards should be available to PPP 

recipients as well. 


R&iuirements IWork obli2ations in DEWR 1an~ua~e1 

Should the Australian Government not accept NCSMC’s recommendation and choose to pursue 

an increase in participation requirements, at a bare minimum the following protections should 

be legislated: 

The legislative protections underpinning the participation requirements introduced in 

Australians Working Together should be retained, including: 

(1) any requirements should be averaged over a number of weeks rather than a fixed 

number ofhours per week 

(2) parents should have the option to participate in education and training that would 

improve their future job prospects and income 

(3) parents should be exempted from participation requirements where they have: 

~ a child with a disability, 

~ a sick child, or 

~ where a critical event in the family’s life (e.g. divorce proceedings, threat of 

domestic violence) would make compulsory participation unreasonable at this 


(4) decisions on breaches ofparticipation requirements or agreements should continue to 

be made by the delegate of the Minister pursuant to social security legislation 

(5) an accessible, fair and prompt Social Security Appeals system should remain in 

place, and payments should continue or be resumed while appeals are being 


(6) existing arrangements to waive penalties on compliance and use suspensions rather 

than breaches to encourage attendance should continue 

The following additional protections should be introduced: 

(1) The legislation should specify that any participation requirements must be 

reasonable, taking account of children’s needs, parents’ education employment and 

training history and goals, and barriers to participation such as disabilities 

(2) The breaches system should be reformed in accord with the Pearce Report: 

including a reduction in maximum non payment periods to a maximum of eight 


no requirements apart from interviews should be imposed for the first twelve months 

after the recipient receives Parenting Payment 

The current participation requirements for sole parents on income support whose 

youngest child is 13 should not be increased; 

The legislation should protect the legal obligations / primary responsibility of parents to 

provide care to their children without risk of loss or reduction of income support, or 

other penalty (this would include missing appointments, leaving the work place, failing 

to attend training, etc when children/domestic needs arise both in the short term and 

over the longer term); 

The legislation should protect the rights of child(ren) to have access to parental time as 


Where accessible, affordable, appropriate, quality child care is not available , there 

should be no requirement to participate; 

Parents should not be required to engage in activities outside of school hours (including 

school holidays); 

The number of dependents (children, elderly parents, etc) in a parent’s care should be 

recognised as limiting their capacity to participate; 

Time limits should be placed on travel requirements consistent with current AWT 

legislation, ie a maximum of45 minutes each way (this includes travel to/from child’s 

school and parent’s work); 






To ensure the well being of single parent families it will be essential to closely monitor the 

implementation of any new welfare reform measures. This should include, but is not limited to: 

Ongoing and regnlar publication of data; 

Ongoing and regular consultation with sole parents and organisations involved with sole 


Independent evaluations of impact of any new reforms; 

A transparent and easily accessible complaints process; 

A transparent and accessible appeals process 



Can we call it a day on these “Days” ?? What are they worth, to you?

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Hey, people – – can we talk?  

You can see from the gadgets to the right (Feedjit, Statcounter, etc.)

some people are at least zipping through the site.  Let’s talk, or load page-views and just snatch data from each other

June 21st was Father’s Day.  In May was Mothers’ day.  In April, it was the next two holidays, and the other ones below

are of older origins.


  • Father’s Day,
  • Mother’s Day,
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month,
  • Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month, 
  • Ramadan,
  • Yom Kippur,
  • Christmas,
  • New Year’s,
  • Easter
  • “9/11”
  • If it saved even TWO lives, would you give up the “Days”?

    Even if you worked at Hallmark cards, a flower shop, or a newspaper?

    Now, I realize that all religions require sacrifice, sometimes (often?) entailing blood, sometimes human, often children.

    But perhaps we could simplify, and get it down, nationally at least (or internationally?) to the long-standing world religions, and for good measure, “Bill of Rights” Day in the U.S., with particular emphasis on Amendments I and II, which entails that the Government shall protect our right not to believe in any god, or as a nation worship one, or have our money  — our offspring– poured out at its altar.

    Bill of Rights

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

    I am beginning to think that part of every young person’s education should be memorization, by rote, of these amendments, and training in self-defense, by arms, not just karate.  A karate kick doesn’t stop a bullet.  

    (RECOMMENDED:  Intercollegiate Studies Institute //American Civic Literacy Program)

    Discussion continued, AFTER you take a good look at two children murdered by their father (along with himself, a.k.a. suicide) last year for this reason:  His (younger) wife dared to leave him, in May, and he wasn’t going to have them on Father’s Day, in June:


    Gallery image 2



    Twisted dad Brian Philcox – who murdered his two young children because he couldn’t see them on Father’s Day – planned a “spectacular few days of destruction” from beyond the grave.

    He drove Amy, seven, and three-year-old Owen to a country lane, attached a hosepipe to the exhaust, fed it through the window and left the engine on.

    All three died huddled in the back of his Land Rover at a North Wales beauty spot last June. 

    It was just the start of a day of horror that evil 52-year-old Philcox had carefully planned.

    He had booby-trapped his home in Runcorn, Cheshire, in an attempt to kill his estranged wife Lyn McAuliffe.

    And he sent a parcel bomb to her son Ryan, 18. Fortunately, none of the devices exploded.

    Speaking for the first time since the tragedy, Lyn, 37, said: “He had planned the whole thing for a spectacular few days of destruction. He wanted to blow me up in his house  before murdering his own children.

    “He also sent a bomb in the post to my son Ryan. He planned for it to arrive the day after Father’s Day, when me, the kids and Brian should already have been dead.

    And in another article:

    Gassed children unlawfully killed

    Those are the children above.  I’m a little unclear on when it might be “lawful” to kill children — on what grounds, self-defense?


     Mr Philcox had collected the children from their home in Runcorn, Cheshire in an arranged access visit last June {{2008}} the inquest heard.  // But after drugging them with chloroform from a padded envelope, he attached a vacuum cleaner pipe to the exhaust of his Land Rover in an isolated spot near Llanrwst in north Wale. // 
    The trio were found dead, poisoned by carbon monoxide fumes, sitting next to each other on the back seat of Mr Philcox’s car on Father’s Day.

    The 52-year-old karate expert had separated from his wife in May 2008 after eight years of marriage.

    The children’s mother, Lyn McAuliffe, 38, from Runcorn, Cheshire, wept as details of the deaths were read.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~




    A typical court order, at least over here (US), will say:  Children to be with their Father on Father’s Day, Mother on Mother’s Day, and then will specify the usual holidays — geared typically to the school year, which itself is generally arranged around (oddly enough) major Christian holidays, although Christianity, if not talk of “God” (as if real)  is out of favor in many educational systems these days.

    In my case, zero of these were enforced for the past almost 3 full years.  The last time I attempted to stick up for this, there was retaliation.  NONE of the “Shared Parenting” advocates seem too bothered when mothers, as opposed to fathers, are not seeing their children — sometimes removed on grounds of “Parental Alienation” (a.k.a., reporting child sexual abuse, or some other criminal behavior.  In my case the criminal offence, I gather, was expecting, and saying openly, to everyone involved (including agencies) that I expected my ex- to be held accountable to obey all court orders, like I was.  And to work, like I was…..”



    For one, grief.  This news article came across my inbox, and others.

    I am a mother.  I was unable to see my own daughters on Mother’s Day in:  2005, 2006, and 2007.  I did not make plans to blow anyone up or get vengeance.  I had a hard time, I’ll admit this Father’s Day  — especially that now I’ve done some research on the state of “Der Vaterland” religion in my country here — and did not post.  It was a hard day for many noncustodial mothers worldwide, which I know because we talk with each other sometimes.

     I also received another no-answer call, from a cell phone, from the same geographic vicinity as my ex, who has recently (though having won in court and happily ensconced with a new woman, and who would think in need of yet another “victory” or some sort) been both texting, calling, and at least once, showing up at my doorstep unannounced and unwanted.  This, in this context, is called Stalking. If it was not him, still, the fact that I should have to do a reverse phone lookup, because it was so disturbing and part of an unbroken pattern is significant.

    Here’s what the holidays meant for our family  — and I know many others who have divorced, not amicably — occasions for incidents.

    The national religion is, we are supposed to be happy, rejoicing, and ensconced in a family or extended family setting at these times.  Or in a soup line for the homeless, being charitable (or, eating).  

    Add to this, I’m a musician, and major music events occurred around them, they were also financial fiascos.  What should then, have been a joyful occasion became for me, a cause for anxiety and trigger to post-traumatic stress.   With good cause, too.  This was true BEFORE we separated, as well.  We  had to perform as a family.  My ex apparently had performance stress, and one of my most major, earliest (though not THE earliest) memories of an outrageous physical (assault & battery, now that I know the proper term) of me, while pregnant, happened seconds after a nice family dinner event around Christmas, with my relatives.  He had been embarrassed, somehow, and I was going to pay.  One kid was dashed into the bedroom and dumped into a crib so two hands would be free to punish me properly.  The other one had no choice, not having been born yet. 


    Let’s reduce the occasions for violent incidents!

    Let’s move away from nationalized, attention-deficit-friendly, polytheism and ADD closer to either monotheism, or atheism?

    It might give us more time to breathe, reflect, THINK, and memorize our national constitutions.

    Here — this is only >>one<< instance of incidents planned for Father’s Day.  There were others for Mother’s Day, for example, major political leaders in the US gearing up for the 10th Anniversary of Father’s Day (right around Mother’s Day), and (lying) to the public about how neglected and underfunded the concept of fatherhood was, and how we need to pass more laws, and send more money, of course, hire more experts, to protect the concept.

    Included in such proclamations are the usual (gag….) statistics on how female-headed (formerly called “single-mother” only we are now carefully avoiding the use of this word “mother” in public arenas, except YOUNG ones that might generate home nurse visitation programs, also part of the agenda under Health and Human Services, USA).  It’s no longer MOTHERS, it’s Children and Families.  And, of course Fathers.

    Absent from those statistics would be, for example, children such as Amy & Owen above.  They are no longer “at risk” for anything at all, except, depending on your version of reality and the universe, possible resurrection, or is it fossilization.  Their long-term futures are not going to be part of any Head Start, Healthy Families, or Low-Income Maternal/Parental bonding studies.  So if you are reading any of these studies, generally footnoted by a number of Ph.D.’s, LCSW’s, MFTs, etc. (as are some of the contrary studies), just remember — the statistics are skewed.  SOME kids never make it this far, and THAT is one reason why “FEMALE-HEADED HOUSEHOLDS” can — yes indeed — be dangerous to children.

    Especially as mediated by  a court system that doesn’t take this possibility into account.

    Incidents like this arouse emotions in the rest of us — of course.   When people’s emotions are at high pitch is not always a great time to make major decisions, and it is DEFINITELY not a great time to analyze government spending.  SOMEONE’s money is going to transfer hands, on the basis of these things.  Some grants are going to get funded, adn for sure a few print newspapers were sold on the backs of those two kids, as well as the on-line search ratings.    

    Since I began this blog, I noticed that by the time I had one incident up, or narrated/commented on, another one had hit the news.  It was impossible to intelligently keep up commentary with all of them, let alone analysis:

    Search Results

    1. Brian Philcox Inquest: Killed Children Amy And Owen In Llanryst 

      Feb 20, 2009  A father “unlawfully killed” his two young children and rigged up a makeshift bomb at his house before committing suicide, an inquest has 
      news.sky.com/…/BrianPhilcoxLynMcAuliffe/…/200902315226750 – Similar – 
    2. Man who killed himself and his two children left ‘Bitch’ note 

      Feb 21, 2009  Lyn McAuliffe is helped into the inquest into the deaths of her two  Mr Gittins told Miss McAuliffe: ‘When Brian Philcox took Amy and 
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/Man-killed-children-left-Bitch-note-rigged- homemade-bomb-wife.html – Similar – 
    3. Lyn McAuliffe: Birthday visit for tragic mum – Liverpool Echo.co.uk

      Feb 10, 2009  Brian Philcox 320. A WOMAN whose two children were gassed to death by her  Lyn McAuliffe, 38, said she would go to the graveside of her 
      http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/…/lynmcauliffe-birthday-visit-for-tragic-mum- 100252-22893336/ –Similar – 
    4. Daily Post North Wales – News – North Wales News – Mum of children 

      Feb 21, 2009  Karate expert Brian Philcox drugged his two children, Amy, seven, Philcox’s then wife Lyn McAuliffe had begun divorce proceedings 
      http://www.dailypost.co.uk/…/mum-of-children-killed-in-north-wales-will-not- forgive-dad-55578-22975841/ – Cached – Similar – 
    5. Brian Philcox: Philox killed kids and planned to kill 2 more 

      Brian Philcox, 53, of UK, devised a homemade bomb to kill his wife and mother of his 2 children.  Philcox later called McAuliffe to ask her to enter his home.  India News, Jade Goody, Jamie Hince, Jamie Lynn Spears, Janet Jackson 
      celebgalz.com/brianphilcox-philox-killed-kids-and-planned-to-kill-2-more- photos/ –Cached – Similar – 
    6. Mama Liberty

      Security guard Brian Philcox drugged his two children before killing them and himself on After the hearing, the children’s mother Lyn McAuliffe, 38, 
      rights4mothers.blogspot.com/ – Cached – Similar – 
    7. 26 February 2009 – Local Runcorn & Widnes news 

      Feb 26, 2009  Lyn McAuliffe describes Amy and Owen Philcox’s killer as evil and  Child killer Brian Philcox had glittering career in world of karate 


    Now, the United States, and I believe other countries, are in the grip of a nationalized religion, but one that still hasn’t — other major world ones, stood the test of time — I mean, thousands, or at least hundreds, of years.  

    We have a nationalized public educational system, and it has to get organized around SOMETHING, as far as schedule.  Ironically –according to at least one of my readings on the history of this system — it was pushed and promoted in part as a RE-action by Protestant Christians against an influx of Catholic immigrants from Southern Europe, and/or Ireland.  I don’t think Jews or Muslims made honorable mention in this, let alone Hindu, Buddhist, or anything else.  There were also the Harvard Unitarians versus the mainline Trinitarians.  It was basically fear-mongering about the incoming religions (plus economic and sometimes military, force) backing it up.  A land grab was involved of church properties.  If you’re really interested, submit a comment, and I’ll submit some bibliography.

    So what do we have now, in the school schedules, and reflected in the family court visitation orders (schedules) as well?  Ironically, we have some of the most Catholic in origin holiday schedules:  Christmas, Easter, Halloween.  Google these, and you’ll get somewhere back to the time of Constantine, Rome, and recognize that they, too, had a national religion, and had to sort of, er, do a melting pot.  Polytheism was patriotic, monotheism was, well, unnatural.

    Jews, and later, Christians, protested, refusing to sacrifice and well, this was entertainment and gladiator fodder.  They were made examples of, and you can read history on your own times for a better version of the word “holiday.”

    I’m working on this theme, but it seems to me that any national religion pushed down the national throat — is going to produce a reaction, and reactionary elements, and they will kill.  There will be war.

    What I see right now is Male Supremacists versus “Ms.” and I see LGBT vs. Healthy Marriage enshrined, and I do mean that.

    I also see — and if you follow my blog, or others linked to it (see the buttons), or if you simply are motivated enough — how with ONE side of the mouth, our government is taking advice from “faith-based initiatives” on how marriage is ALWAYS just so wonderful, that we should play matchmaker, federally speaking.  What do do about cases like the young man in Tennessee, who had 21 children by 5 (or was it 15?) different women is a little unclear.  And a moot point — he wasn’t earning much.  A

    And from another Department (of Education), same Branch (Executive) — there’s a battleground for conttrol of our children in the K-12 school system, i.e., “It’s Elementary” and “Days of Silence,” spawning all kinds of nonprofits justice groups to track this, and defend that.  Generally speaking, the ACLU is probably going to come up the other side of, say, Pacific Justice Institute, who tend to defend the conservative Christian groups.  WHICH (in case you wondered), I’m not.  Primarly because they won’t stick up for women when their own are being beaten, nor was I raised thus anyhow.

    So what we have here is:

  • SYSTEMIC PROBLEM #1 (for sake of numbering them somehow)
  • Fatherhood, Healthy Marriage is, essentially, conservative — and has a religious base  They RULE in the courts (or will soon, if not yet).
  • Practically the entire public school educational system is quite progressive.
  • So you have a built-in war between the EDUCATION system (if you’re rusty, EXECUTIVE Branch) and the COURT  system (JUDICIAL BRANCH). One way to also conceptually phrase THAT war could be on the basis of sexuality (LGBT vs. Hetero, plus Dads Rule), OR, it could also be considered, Religion versus no religion.

  • APPARENT SYSTEMIC PROBLEM #2  – within the Health and Human Services alone (Executive Branch)

  • I want to know more about the origins of this department, currently our country’s largest.  This is the topic for a different post. My study (since my schedule was vacated, rudely, by certain governmental institutions, which cast me upon the (still incoherent, best I can interpret) mercies of other ones, I have both been highly motivated to find out HOW they got away with this, and how to stop the process.
  • I could readily, and competently, navigate the familiar waters of:  housing, working, parenting, and alongside that, negotiating for the best education of the dollar possible given our family history.  I also competently negotiated a household move with my work schedule, and even a moderate compromise within the family lines (I compromised school choice for my kids, believing at face value, this to have been a temporary situation, so long as I could thereafter make ends meet, only to find it had instead been a land mine….. a sacred cow . )
  • I could not, nor do I feel responsible for not having been able to, engage meanwhile in mind-reading of either people who had no business running MY business, nor institutions who also thought it was there privilege to do so.  As we had homeschooled (while I taught for public schools, private nonprofits, and among other homeschooling families), I had not yet been indoctrinated into the concept of “YOUR children are OUR property” mentality, nor the unbelievably condescending and negative attitude some schools hold towards parents who are neither on the PTA, the School Board, or the class volunteer list.
  • ANY family (I’ll be neutral and not say the more accurate, “WOMAN” or “MOTHER”) leaving an abusive situation has done so by virtue of some help from somewhere.  She is NOT in a position to understand, generally, that other than her most IMMEDIATE abusers, which may or may not include family of origin, faith community, or other immediate circles who didn’t report — as some of them are mandated by law to, in the US — that she should no more trust intervening outsiders saying “let me help you” than she did the person assaulting her “for her own good.”  
  • No woman, or kid, becomes independent and self-sufficient by having theorists and philosophers tell them how to live, OR, how to leave.  In retrospect, my / our civil rights were compromised every single step of the way — and I can identify this in my case, and in others.  As I protested, the resistance — not just individual (ex), and his new associates, but also corporate and governmental entities — to the concept that I was intelligent enough to make a choice, and that one of those choices was that any governmental intrusion into OUR life should begin with equal treatment under the law, and addressing violations of court orders.  Such violations are indicators.  Perhaps if women ran government, as we run the raising of lots of little kids (I mean, til they go to preschool, or such), we’d drop the massmanagement theory, and go to the, knowing individuals, and CALLING them on whether an infraction was intentional (i.e., testing the limits) or harassing/distracting/destructive, or simply unintentional and a mistake.
  • At every step of the way, as I began calling attention to these repeated infractions of my personal boundaries, the court orders, my home space, decision-making, and much, much more, the reactions escalated.  Hmm. . . . . . real indignation at the concept that a woman should NOT be passive, malleable, and dependent, in every way.  That she should deserve some privacy — for REAL — or that she might have a clue what’s good for her kids.  That she might not to choose to re-engage sexually right away, given the last man was dangerous.  And that, possibly if she DID, such might bring on further aggressions from the deposed male.  
  • Defending one’s borders, and boundaries, takes effort and time, and energy.  RIGHT, border patrol?  This is also true personally.
  • I personally think that the US Government has other business to do than transgressing mine, particularly because I happened to have shown up as female, and fertile.  It is not my patriotic duty to fork over children for categorization, education, indoctrination, or demonstration grants in Responsible Fatherhood, Healthy Marriage, or anything else that is not necessary for US to pursue:  Life, Liberty, and Happiness.  Now, when the government DID catch me briefly, and say, We will Enforce a Child Support Order, which I did not ask them to do, then it has a duty to behave honestly towards my children in that activity.  And failing to inform us about all the other initiatives (in place, as I have said repeatedly on here, since at least the 1990s, and many sources say, 1980s) is “Irresponsible Governmenthood.”

  • It is not my civic duty to fork over my time, life, or children to jump onto the petri dish to be examined and become fodder for the mental health industry if we resist, being either literate, or old enough to remember memorizing the Declaration of Independence in a public school.

  • My last few months of studying the Health and Human Services Department (a.k.a., following the trail of bread crumbs from when contact with my kids — and their child support — got lost in the bureaucratic woods of “help, stop!, protect! enforce! Beware! Advocate!” red tape in two (California) counties) — has shown clearly that in this last point, I and they differ.  180 degrees.  100%.  I have a high-conflict relationship with that philosophy, one that no amount of “in loco parenting” classes is likely to correct.  I value my sanity, and I tried the placate, duck, and appease method for a long time in my marriage before we got to Call it by the right name, Restrain, Protect, (“CPR”) philosophy.

  • THIS CREATES BUILT-IN CONFLICT AND POVERT – for some, and professions — for to.  

    See my (hopefully) upcoming post(s) on Responsible Citizenhood (Parts III, IV and V) and

    “Survival of the Fittest:  Study and Prosper, or Be Broke and Be Studied” a.k.a.,

    “Multiple (Life) Choices in a New Brave World:   (1) Etymologist or (2) the Bug on the Plate”





    NOW – I have a recommendation (See top of post):


    Can we reduce our specialty days, in the courts, and in the educational systems to perhaps FIVE? or SEVEN?


    And no two in the same month:


    • One for atheism.
    • One (or you say how many) for polytheism.
    • One, or at most 3, for each of the three monotheistic religions:  Judaism, Christianity, Islam (In chrono order).  Or, Christianity, Islam, Judaism (in alpha order).  Or . . . . . 


    (Kind of like mono and poly unsaturated fats, right?)  



    Or, extend the school year, and shorten the work week, as Friday, Saturday and Sunday characterize these weekly holy days, right?


    (The naming, versus numbering, of the days of the week is itself a pagan concept.)


    And teachers, you will have to find some other “themes” (such as skills development?) around which to build the school year, not, respectively, (Sept.-June):

    Labor, Halloween (DV awareness), Thanksgiving, Hannukah-Kwanzaa-Christmas, Presidents, Martin Luther King, Jr., St. Patrick, Easter (SA/CA/PAS awareness), Veterans & Mothers ((although the parallel seems appropriate in some contexts…), Fathers, and Hallelujah, summer vacation — or school, depending on how well your children concentrated the above in one piece).


    No WONDER pharmaceuticals are needed to keep kids focused.  


    Independence Day (July 4th, US), is coming up.  Now, I know the above is ludicrous — but I hope I showed at least that these federally-sponsored (that’s your tax dollars, USA) institutions:


    • National Holidays
    • PUBLIC School
    • Courts
    • Government Institutions (at least a few of them)
    • Religions


    are all intertwined.  These institutions also affect the workforce.  





    Let’s talk profession — remember the  joke:  What is the “oldest profession in the world”?  (Put one of two possible answers).  Now you just saw the oldest religion too.


    Sex, for money.  So who is being sold what?


    I note that Mr. Philcox, having been booted out of the house (guess that was HIS religion) opted –quickly– to kill his entire family and himself, and partially succeeded.  Guess we know what religion THAT was.  He picked up a single mother (who had a son at around age 20), about 15 years his junior, and quickly made some babies, was aggressive towards the son NOT of his gene pool, and when  those who WERE of his gene pool were not allowed to live with him, apparently, he wiped them out.  Possibly Darwinist?


    Would you give up at LEAST:  Mother’s and Father’s Day to save a few children’s lives? 


    Note:  This might affect which Congressperson you elect next term.  There is no “motherhood” initiative, but there sure as hell– and it’s been hell on Moms, and kids — a “Fatherhood” one!  And I already posted who voted for it, in both Houses of the Legislature.


    Or do you believe that female-headed households are dangerous and should be eliminated, by hook or by crook, or by pipe bomb?  


    You know, some prophesies are self-fulfilling, and at this rate, unless some major institutions are somewhat re-arranged (NO, I am NOT advocating the overthrow of anything United States — particularly not the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and due process in all 3 branches of government), it looks to be heading towards Armageddon.


    PERHAPS — just PERHAPS — if we could dissolve some of the more monolithic aspects here, and allow a bit more fluidity and dynamic response to actual situations (within the scope of, of course, law), there would be fewer reactionary fundamentalist factions proclaiming, pronouncing, warring, and killing — or stealing.  Kids, and dollars.


  • Nature (specifically, nipples) vs. Shared Parenting: Family Law Inanity in Australia, too…

    leave a comment »


    Humor me here…. 

    Sometimes I have a bit of an inferiority complex when I read the generally higher level of discourse in news articles outside the U.S.  This began years ago when I was corresponding with a certain UK group  concerned about the British system which they said was, unfortunately, adopting  practices that had already failed in the USA.  Not that this STOPPED such practices, but the Brits & Scots were complaining too on a number of lines.  California was specifically named.  I’m not a West Coast native, and didn’t quite duck my head in shame.


    What IS it about California?

    I don’t know whether it’s hiring former actors as and Governors, if not later President, or whether it’s Hollywood per se, or it’s maybe because the pride from having succesfully detached from England a few hundred years ago filled American think tanks with hot air, or whether educational policy — what IS it, then that causes “educated” people to lose their grip on reality, and really stupid stuff to erupt, Krakatoa-like from this part of the Pacific Rim, and drift transcontinentally, via Internet, El Nino,  (sorry wrong medium)or in the winds of change, and drop its dusty thinking world-wide, gunking up thousands of otherwise sane and at least semi-functional lives?

    (More realistically, the dust driving the Dust Bowl of idiotic legal behavior, if you read yesterday’s post, is more likely Gold.  Which I could also blame on California in another century, I suppose).

    Maybe it’s reverse psychology — if it IS absolutely In-ane, or otherwise quack science, SOMEONE will declare it “scientific” and a market niche is born.  Hence, PAS is now being taught in Spain, I heard, by people already discredited in the US, and we already had the Judge in Toronto making decisions on breast-feeding vs. shared parenting.


    Thank God, Inane, Insane Behavior is not Indigenous to the USA!

    Now here it is in Australia too.  Finally I can hold my head a little higher as an American, because another continent(‘s legal/judicial system) has sunk to our shameful, dogma-driven level (drivel?), when it comes to Fatherhood, Healthy Marriage, Co-parenting, Joint Custody with severely aggressive batterers (resulting in family-cides) and Judges (??) making decisions as to how healthy an INFANT (and Mum) are allowed to be.

    Given the chaos, progress, or perhaps it is liberality that is “U.S.,” especially on the West Coast, the headline “Breastfeeding Mums forced to share care” (below) has someone like me naturally wondering at first whether this piece was about one such same-sex marriage and two Mums sharing parenting.  Gee, I hadn’t thought about THAT one yet.  My confusion is understandable, I hope.  First of all, I’ve been in family court system for many years and found out the most words in there are topsy turvy to start with (for example, “mediator,” which means, a person whose favor one must win, within 45 minutes of a first encounter, after which, the hearing process is a simply a shoe-in…), or, say, the word “family” to start with, the composition, schedules, members, relationships, and prosperity of which typically ends up different going out than going in.  The word meat grinder comes to mind…

    Moreover, being as I am from the home of the brave, the land of the free, and one of the several US states that legitimized, at least for a period, same-sex marriages, and is working HARD at promoting the concept at elementary school level, the words “Breastfeeding Mums (plural) forced to share care” brings up images of an individual case, not an entire class of cases.  Perhaps if they had said “with whom” these Mums (and how many of them) were forced to share care, I might have had an easier first-glance assessment.  Don’t point the finger at me, I already know anything goes from a number of angles.

    However, on actually reading the article, it appears to have been heterosexual couples uncoupling, and thereafter, as children were involved, they must go through the system and face the same old insanity — every time a couple parts, a family law judge will have to play God and juggle priorities.  Added to the complications, the children involved were not yet weaned.  No matter, a decision is here…

    Breastfeeding as parental alienation”? If so, then the judge could simply penalize the mother, about $250,000, for not sharing nuturing well enough with the children’s father, as a Canadian judge did recently.  I wonder if it was the same Toronto judge that ruled on how long the mother could breastfeed, and what her real motivations for doing so were.  Family law judges are well-known for mind-reading and intention assessing.  

    In short, there appears to be no area of life which judges are not deemed to be expert to pronounce upon.  If they lack expertise, no matter, experts are at the beck and call of the court to add the appearance of logic to decisions.

    By the time my children are grown and I am 100% divorced, and hopefully into a new profession not subject to first-trimester-abortion-by-child-napping or frivolous lawsuits, I will probably have experienced every emotion, and aspect of life possible, and should probably head for a judge-ship.  I will keep a coin handy for flipping during the more difficult cases, and hire a private security guard in case I mistakenly rule AGAINST a battering or child-abusing, indigent, law-breaking, stalking or kidnapping parent, thereby alienating my colleagues in the courts.

    (HEY — even the best of us have our fantasy life, right?)


    Back to the topic of allotting nipple-nudging time  in a co-parenting plan.

    IMAGINE being that judge:


    Do I, as judge:


    wield my ??-appointed authority over litigants’ health, wealth, lifestyles, and divorce, choose:

    • (A) Growing baby’s health and Mom’s, as already determined by clear medical evidence (and milennia of practice, world-wide) and bend shared-parenting laws to accommodate breast-feeding, knowing (as the average adult, I hope already does) that breastfeeding is indeed in the best interest of the child on a score of physical, emotional, psychological categories, for BOTH Mom post-delivery, and breast fed babies tend to be smarter, healthier, less obese, and more disease-resistant, as well as cow’s milk has several contraindicators (first of which is, it was designed for herbivores, not omnivores, and for large-boned bovines, and more)**
    • {{**Certain exceptions apply, as when Mom is abusing a substance, or possibly is so traumatized or stressed out that cortisol, adrenaline (i.e., stress hormones) are flooding her system, and as such, her nursing infant’s.  GEE, what circumstances might engender that?  (a)  possibly violence in the home?  (b) possibly knowing that her nursing infant’s/child’s saftey and future, and her relationship with this “fruit of the womb” is  totally in the hands of a family law judge?}}

    OR, do I, as judge:

    • Go with more recent, and far fuzzier (but currently more popular, at least with the generally dominant gender) psychological assertions that”Fathers are Nurturers Too!” and “Female-Headed Households innately are poorer, and more dangerous, and in short to blame for society’s ills” dogma (imported, I believe, from Southern California legal experts, aided by some conservative think-tanks/foundations, and policy-makers who help drive policy from Washington D.C.).  To this, I suppose I should add “Breastfeeding Sucks!” and any Mum who won’t just give it up is overly bonded to her infant, and a parental alienator — doesn’t she care about her kids’ emotional needs for two parents, especially a father? 


    •  Which is it?  History, or Recent Theory?
    • Do I want to risk criticism from the medical establishment (which has set a clear “Go Thou and Nurse” policy, which my government has already endorsed) or
    • Do I want to compromise potential funding (this blogger comments from her USA perspective) from the post-Dr. Spock, feminist-defanging doctrine from about 1980s forward, which the globally mounting drumbeat of fatherhood mongers claim is endangering their offspring’s health by removing the radiant glow of Dad’s presences from Kids’ lives?

    Another possible fulcrum of the Decision See-Saw might be:

    • Do I want to show I share common sense with the rest of the public, therefore possibly compromising my ambience of near-divine, esoteric insight (I’m JUDGE, right?  and no common bloke), or do I want to throw my clout around?

    (And DO I CARE that newly-divorced, or restraining-ordered, irate fathers are still dropping kids (excuse me — GIRLS) off bridges, or otherwise killing them, if not themselves also, on visitation, throughout my country, and others).


     My imagined judicial angst probably didn’t last long, if it ever arose.  There probably was no wavering, no virtual see-saw.

    This is FAMILY Court.  It’s a no-brainer:  Given the obvious, do the opposite:  Throw the kid in a carseat, share “parenting”, and “let’em drink (cows’) milk half the time and breast milk the rest.  Or make Mom pump extra for 3 days a week.  Why cry over spilt milk from both sides?   

    Moreover, throwing in some inanity shows who’s the boss in court.  The next uppity woman who comes through here will know better and make our lives easier.  Don’t they know, men don’t like to WAIT in certain matters??


    With judicial rulings -and poorly prognosticated legal concepts — like this, who needs Parenting Education (or for that matter “Healthy Marriage” promotion)?

    The only other sarcastic “Good Grief!” leverage I could get from this article is to comment that with examples like this, we really don’t need “Healthy Marriage” education in either Australia, or the USA!  Just make them read the news…

    MY CONJECTURE:  Any couple that separates before a child is weaned either (and very possibly) had domestic violence as an issue (in which case, sole custody would be more advisable) or wasn’t too bright to start with – – if they read newspapers, they would surely learn, as of 2006 in Australia, that any child conceived would go through carseat, attachment, and digestive hell unless the parent stuck it out a little longer.  Or, she was indeed using him to get a baby.  (Not that men have never done this of a woman, either….)

    A close friend of mine who is as thoroughly disgusted with my case’s many years in court, not to mention child-stealing, unprosecuted, after I’d just stabilized the household, believes — and it appears to be serious — that people should have breeding licenses.  In the current climate, I think a thorough course in the legal system (including recent fads) and the domestic violence statistics, plus a thorough understanding of the cost of attempting to separate, when kids are involved, should be requirements.  

    Chalk this one up to the hands of the anti-VAWA people.  No one in their right mind would subject a child to this, it’d  be better to stick it out, and have a safety plan each time someone loses it emotionally in a relationships, than to send a growing human being through this official-DUMB.

    Please forgive me, but one more shot:  Surely this shared parenting law could NOT have come from legislators who actually breastfed before; it’s like salivating — your body acclimatizes to supply and demand, and let alone jerking the child around emotionally, how about them breasts?  (or, to become a judge, possibly, one must act like a man, including as to schedule, and therefore women judges would skip the attachment phase, use formula, or get us to pumping in the lady’s room between hearings?

    Incidentally, and Mums would also know this — what comes out the other end is MUCH less offensive when it came from a human teat, not a cow’s one, via pasteurization, or formula, which isn’t even that healthy.  So there could be additional causes for grievance, as in, “child was habitually returned to mother with a real stinker.”  Good grief!  Let the kid nurse.  When it’s older, it can see Dad more, and will recognize him well enough.

    The legendary , proverbial “King Solomon” — who was noted for taking his inherited kingdom down in good part by too many expensive wives and concubines (no, that was NOT a sideways snipe at the US Congress)(perhaps) supposedly saw two women (were they breastfeeding?) who claimed one child; the other one had been rolled over and smothered to death in sleep.  Threatening to enforce “Shared Parenting” by “raised sword” the real Mum piped up and said, “let her have it!” and the real wise king recognized the real Mum, and she got her baby back.

    Guess what with all them wimmen in his life, he knew a thing or two about nursing, even vicariously.  Or, he’d remembered the story of Moses.  Their cultural baby factories, I guess, included wet-nurses, not nurturing Dads vying for kids’ allegiances and affections. 

    OK, I’m through.  If you’d gone through the co-parenting with a controlling personality, thereafter losing your  kids scenario (I did, if you’ve read other posts, and at a   huge cost, and after a very dedicated motherhood lasting til they were more than half raised), you might be tempted (as I was, and obviously succumbed) to make a point with this Caroline Overington article from “The Australian.”

    (The headline is the link also.)

    Breastfeeding mums forced to share care

    Caroline Overington | June 10, 2009

    Article from: The Australian
    THE Family Court is placing infants who have not yet been weaned from the breast into shared care arrangements with their separated parents.

    A study by academics at Flinders University has found that infants less than a year old are spending one week on a diet of cow’s milk, and one week nursing at the breast, so that parents can share their care, as recommended by the Howard government’s shared parenting law.

    Others are spending up to three hours a day in a car, shuttling between homes.

    The shared parenting laws, introduced in July 2006, are attracting complaints from a range of professionals at the coalface of family law.

    The study on the shared care of infants after divorce was conducted by Linda Sweet, of the Flinders University School of Medicine, and Charmaine Power, an associate professor at the School of Nursing and Midwifery.

    Their report said the shared parenting law placed “expectations on both parents to participate equally in care, regardless of the child’s age”.

    The report said there was “ample evidence that breastfeeding is the best form of nutrition for infants” and the Australian government’s dietary guidelines espouse breastfeeding as the optimal food for children for the first six months of life.

    “It would be expected that breastfeeding infants would not be ordered into substantial shared parenting arrangements, ” the report said. “However, many infants regularly are.”

    One mother, “Georgianna” , separated from her husband when their child was seven months old. The magistrate ordered week-about shared parenting, saying the boy could have his nutritional needs met by means “other than breastfeeding” .

    “Georgianna’ s milk supply became erratic as a result of these week-long absences,” the report said. At the time of interview, her son was receiving breast milk while with her, and cow’s milk while with his father.

    “Trish” separated from her husband when their child was five months old. The court ordered shared parenting of seven days a fortnight, but no overnight stays, with dad. The distance between the homes meant the child spent three hours a day in a car seat.

    The authors concluded that “national and international guidelines on optimal duration of breastfeeding” have less sway with judges than the benefits of time with fathers. “This in itself is not a bad thing, and all women in our study encouraged father contact,” they said.

    Breastfeeding was at issue in a Family Court matter heard in Cairns last year, involving a couple who had been married for less than a year when they separated. Their daughter was five months old. The mother was committed to “attachment parenting” and demand feeding, and would not allow the child to stay overnight with her father.

    The judge said the mother had “no time set for the child to be weaned** and allowed the father to see the child only when a mothercraft nurse was present (the father had an annual income of more than $280,000, plus a $350,000 annual bonus, so hired help was no problem).

    The judge said the father “wanted to take the child out and have her stay overnight but could not “because the mother insisted that the child be breastfed”.

    The judge said the shared parenting act made it necessary to “consider whether it would be in a child’s best interests” to spend such limited time with her father, and concluded that overnight visits should begin three months from the date of the hearing.

    Five months, turn that faucet off, folks!  Right?

    Department of Human Nutrition and LMC Centre for Advanced Food Studies, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

    There are differences between at what age industrialized countries recommend that cow’s milk can be introduced to infants. Most countries recommend waiting until 12 months of age, but according to recommendations from some countries (e.g. Canada, Sweden and Denmark) cow’s milk can be introduced from 9 or 10 months. The main reason for delaying introduction is to prevent iron deficiency as cow’s milk is a poor iron source. In one study mainly milk intake above 500 ml/day caused iron deficiency. Cow’s milk has a very low content of linoleic acid (LA), but a more favorable LA/alpha-linolenic ratio, which is likely to be the reason why red blood cell docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) levels seem to be more favorable in infants drinking cow’s milk compared to infants drinking infant formula that is not supplemented with DHA. It has been suggested that cow’s milk intake can affect the later risk of obesity, blood pressure and linear growth, but the evidence is not convincing. There are also considerable differences in recommendations on at what age cow’s milk with reduced fat intake can be introduced. The main consideration is that low-fat milk might limit energy intake and thereby growth, but the potential effects on development of early obesity should also be considered. Recommendations about the age for introduction of cow’s milk should take into consideration traditions and feeding patterns in the population, especially the intake of iron and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and should also give recommendations on the volume of milk.


    **Perhaps instincts, observation, judgment might play a role?  Perhaps the father’s substantial income was a factor in his failing to realize that waiting can be a virtue, at times?

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Object lesson:

    Show a 2nd grader a picture of a calf and a baby.  Now ask the 2nd grader what the calf eats (grass).  Then ask the same child where milk comes from (“cows.”)  Ask them to talk about the differences between a Cow and a Person.  Pick a female dairy cow for the example.


    Object lesson, courtesy Google Search on this phrase:

    The Milk Of Human Kindness: Uses For Human Breast Milk

    Every year, the citizens of the United States drink on average 21 gallons of milk. Most of this milk is from cows. Ever since I heard that PETA wanted Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream to use human milk, I have been researching about the advantages and uses of it. Here is what I have come up with.

    {{I think this is actually worth a post.  Yes, I sucked onto this thread of thought and am not letting go until



    What a nice comic break– some posts are “no-brainers,” when their subject matter clearly already is.  Just show the article and have a bit of fun.  

    A certain  sense of personal wellbeing (admittedly not very empathetic), comes from realizing that even YOU, had YOu been judge (or, legislator) wouldn’t have been that inane, or cruel to a little, nonambulatory child as to switch its diet, regularly, and hope its intestines and still-plastic brain can figure it out:  is it time to suck (and what), or to sit in a carseat, unnurtured by either male chest or female breast, for 3 hours at a time?

    With nipple confusion beginning for age one, ADHD is sure to follow by the time he gets to Australia’s equivalent of Early Early Head Start.

    On the bright side, if the worldwide intent is to produce confused, passive, detached kids, adolescents, and adults (perchance,lawmakers?), who can’t digest food right, let alone information, this WOULD be the way to go.  Get ’em before they know who Mom is.  Or Dad.


    Meanwhile, “Part I of II” on ‘Who’s Funding My Goverment?” is still forthcoming;

    I have been researching.  Some leads were hot, some were disconnected.


    Court-ordered dysfunction does not, really, proceed from well-intentioned intelligent weighing of right vs. wrong, but rather pays versus doesn’t pay.  Just imagine the parenting coordinator business that will come from these scenarios.  Child winds up with digestive problems, or a split personality, because Dad can blame Mom for breastfeeding (Breastfeeding as Parental Alienation?) and Mom can blame Dad for compromising baby’s long-term mental and physical health (and be closer to the truth, on that one).  More business for civil litigation.  Will he get lowered child support payments becauase he actually has to PURCHASE nutrition for the little one?  


    The possibilities are endless, which of course is the point.


    USA: “Fathers, Return!” UK: “Mothers, Give us your Children!”

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    Some posts virtually write themselves from the news articles.  These two from the TIMES UK reflect the current dismissive attitude towards women in particular, and non-court-experts in general.


    Another insane event in the serial, unfortunately NON-fiction, documentary of

    Designer-Families by Family Court Fiat:


    What are we human beings, giving birth, being biologically related to each other, an affront to the state on that basis?  Are we clay to be manipulated emotionally, psychologically, and geographically  — particularly if we don’t fit a certain IQ limit, household construction, or actually, as MOMs, want to see & hug our own children, and not get governmental permission to do so after producing them through  conception, 9 months or so gestation, labor (which IS work!), and delivery?

    There was an  older book in the US for women called “Our Bodies, Our Selves”

    It must be obsolete, I guess.  Now, ladies, you are channels for the adoption industry, your religion (or his), you are surrogate mothers, and fatherhood enablers.  Unless you maintain rigorous adherence to stipulations that are, well, not exactly published openly, by your local government, apparently whatever your country of origin.  Or, remain off the radar by staying married (no matter what the cost), and not complaining if your offspring is strip-searched at the local school (Samantha Redding), and not getting cancer and hoping for an alternative treatment (many parents), by not openly declining a public education system known to be inferior (me), and not reporting domestic violence, child abuse, or attempting to collect child support when Dad don’t want to pay.  In short, if we lay down FLAT after giving birth to children, perhaps no one will notice, and our maternal bond may survive — however, this may not be the best role model for sons or daughters.

    These articles would be entertaining if they were, in fact, fictional. Allegedly, they are not.


    “Mother too “stupid” to keep child” and “Court takes child of “stupid” mother, were mis-filed under women & families in the Times, and should be, I believe either under politics or under:

    Totalitarianism:  A User’s Manual”


    How to Promote Responsible Fatherhood?

    The man in Tennessee (last night’s post) has 21 children to choose from, none of which he plans to support, and he will be hard put to comply with “national fathers’ return” policy without violating other laws against polygamy.  As a low-income father, he would be for whom the child-support arrears abatement programs (as run through the family law system via the US Dept. of Health & Human Services), he would be a prime candidate.


    How to Eliminate Loving Motherhood:

    This 24-year-old woman in England was stamped, judged, labeled, and ordered to give up a 3- year old daughter she loves because she’s not “smart” enough, despite having been found smart enough to understand the court process!

    (note:  When I first heard the article, I thought I might have found a legal standing for getting my kids back, until I remembered which genders were involved….)

    Apparently the adoption market is slow?, and so this woman was simply declared unable, and thus, forbidden to represent herself (with her choice of solicitor) in court in this matter,  given a government solicitor who then ignored her instructions to protest the forced adoption.  

    Later, a psychiatrist declared her competent enough, but the (family) court still replied “we are not impressed.”

    She couldn’t be too stupid, because this case is going up a notch to the international level.

    Nor were her parents (too old) or her 27 year old brother allowed to assist her with her own daughter, on which he comments:


    Rachel’s brother Andrew and their parents all offered their services but were rejected for reasons varying from being too old to having played truant from school.

    Andrew, an articulate 27-year-old, said: “The guardian that the court appointed for K even said that I have learning difficulties, although she had never met me. These people are ridiculous. What’s worse, the judges overlook it and still think they are credible professionals.”


    I am concerned about copyright compliance and hope readers will themselves check out these two articles.


    The Sunday Times
    May 31, 2009

    Mother ‘too stupid’ to keep child

     Daniel Foggo

    A MOTHER is taking her fight to the European Court of Human Rights after she was forbidden from seeing her three-year-old daughter because she is not “clever enough” to look after her.

    The woman, who for legal reasons can be identified only by her first name, Rachel, has been told by a family court that her daughter will be placed with adoptive parents within the next three months, and she will then be barred from further contact.

    The adoption is going ahead despite the declaration by a psychiatrist that Rachel, 24, has no learning difficulties and “good literacy and numeracy and [that] her general intellectual abilities appear to be within the normal range”.

    > > > > >. . . . .

    After the psychiatrist’s assessment of Rachel, the court has now acknowledged that she does have the mental capacity to keep up with the legal aspects of her situation. It has nevertheless refused her attempts to halt the adoption process.

    John Hemming, Liberal Democrat MP for Birmingham Yardley, who is campaigning on Rachel’s behalf, said: “The way Rachel has been treated is appalling. She has been swept aside by a system that seems more interested in securing a child for adoption than preserving a natural family unit.”



    And in the related article:

    Court takes child of “stupid” mother

    Rachel protested and secured a solicitor to give her a voice in the family court. But by the time of the crucial placement hearing her pleas had been silenced. This was because her “stupidity” had been used as a means to deny her something else: the right to instruct a lawyer.

    Instead, the official solicitor was brought in to speak for Rachel. Alastair Pitblado, the government-funded official, is appointed by the courts to represent the interests of those who cannot make their own case, such as mentally incapacitated people.

    . . . .

    Rachel’s protests over her treatment were dismissed. The official solicitor had acted “entirely properly” in capitulating to the council since Rachel’s case was “unarguable”, the Court of Appeal ruled.

    The decisions of the family court and the appeal court relied upon reports drawn up by a psychologist 

    However, according to a new report by a leading psychiatrist, Rachel is far from deficient. He said she had “demonstrated that she has more than an adequate knowledge of court proceedings”.

    “She has good literacy and numeracy and her general intellectual abilities appear to be within normal range,” he wrote in a report.

    “She has no previous history of learning disability or mental illness and did not receive special or remedial education.

    “Rachel fully understands the nature of the current court proceedings, can retain them, weigh the information and can communicate both verbally and in writing.”


    Actions Concerned Women (potential mothers) might take:


    I have been considering this for a while, as a woman who did education and professional work first, and had something to offer our children as well as husband, I had children around 40 years old.  The abuse began almost immediately, and lasted about 10 years, til I finally figured out where was the legal advocate to help it stop.  Apart from two daughters, intentional, not accidental, those years were a nightmare, a danger, and an eye-opener.  They also just about trashed my ability to work in this profession, and DID close down my credit.  I kept, energetically, reforming and resourcefully creating myself in work to survive — while negotiating down and working off arts and other classes for growing daughters, keeping at least THEM in music, languages, art, etc., and from this point, meeting a variety of interesting professionals and other intact families, including some professional women, some stay-at-home Moms, and others.  I was allowed to do this “for the children,” but attempts to engage myself were strongly resisted, and sometimes punished for, or threatened out of.  

    Two years off Food Stamps post-marriage, the case was re-directed into Family Court.  Not knowing, I didn’t protest and seek how to get it back into the point at hand:  Renewing a standing restraining order.

    After Five Years of that, and escalations, I have become unemployed, lost both kids, dis-illusioned, alienated, still without credit (and now, car) and back on Food Stamps — I again, hope, temporarily.  My attempt to separate from abuse (without separating the children from my abuser, who was their father) in effect separated me 100% from my family of origin, profession, faith communities (for the most part) and very much alienated from the institutions I formerly took for granted.  

    I encouraged the non-alienated mainstream to also no longer take these for granted in ANY aspect.

    I became more and more radical feminist in views, understanding more fully now how this was simply a response to insulting degradation of women throughout the world. ln the USA, women went to work to replace men who went to war. Then they came back and we were to go back also and become the idealized “nuclear” family, warm, fuzzy, nostalgic, and prosperous (see Norman Rockwell).  The GI Bill and other government initiativesi (plus some of our parents’ hard work) made possible college educations.

    We got our college educations and did the logical thing with them — went to work.  Some of us also sought meaning in other communities, including religion (propserity is not a ‘religion’) and/or service within our fields of study.  Others I know did Peace Corps.  I conversed regularly and on many topics and in many venues, with men and women from other continents, and who had been raised in them.  Zaire, Ethiopia, Belize, Nigeria, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Spain, Mexico, Kenya.  USA:  East Coast, Midwest, Southerners, West Coast.  Educational levels:  GED through Ph.D.  Faiths:  Christian (several brands), Catholic, Atheist/Agnostic, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Unitarian, undeclared.  For the most part, these were not problematic.  We worked or studied and hung out, period.  

    Then I married someone who looked like me and whose family appeared to have a similar background.  I loved him and married in good faith and with honest intents, expecting that our marriage would be a mutual work in progress, not that I would become this person’s “project” as soon as vows were exchanged.  I did not do a criminal background check, and probably might have explored medical family history as well.  No one was mentoring or watching in these matters.  I married someone who came from similar religious background, and seemed articulate.  My family of origin were not Christians or significant points of reference, and never really had been, the majority of my life.  We all just went and did what we did, period, in different parts of the country and for different reasons.  Asking advice and sharing insight was never really on the family menu, and communication was scant in general.

    And shortly after marriage, all hell broke loose.  The main theme of the marriage became “domination,” “reformation” and “assume the position!, (doormat)” particularly after I was pregnant with second daughter.  This theme was carried out in front of many of the similar types of associates, as I was able to reach them by either employment, or daughters’ school contacts, or within reason family.  

    We spiraled through a series of pastors and churches,  most if not all of who knew that physical abuse was happening in the home, and did not know or refer me to law, and did not intervene, though plenty of strong young men were associated and, had that been in their vocabulary, certainly could’ve.   It was also commonly known that my husband was attempting to keep me without transportation or access to a bank account, that I had to beg for necessities and struggle at times for clothes.  No one felt it appropriate to transgress the castle in the home as to, how we were doing things within it.  

    It was known that we were often uninsured by choice, after which an accident happened at his work, requiring surgery.  I dashed from my home job (a rare music lesson) at his phone call, to help, literally, pick up the pieces, followed him to the hospital (DNR exact location) to have a slice of his bone put into another place for health. For a month, I helped this injured man use the restroom and dress [[wrists being hurt]] after this accident, and thereafter, when the people that had operated on him called, wanting their cash, I negotiated with them a reduction in the bills, which was accepted, and but not respected by the same father who had at this time control of our cash flow.  . . . .  As I had small children, and other responsibilities at home, it was becoming irritating interrupting my business to handle his, but without follow-through, and in the context when I’d already urged that actual health/accident insurance be gotten for him, AND us, an idea rejected like many others. An expensive “cost-savings” it turned out to be, too.

    I helped him through tax season and we all helped with tools, sometimes the extensive laundry, and occasionally on the job (construction). 

    I also worked, trying not to provoke anger by being too highly recognized at any particular type of work, and for several years sought permission (!) to enroll in a University extension to learn a different skill, as mine was “tabu.”  Finally, I asked a relative to provide the first tuition, took the emotional retaliation for this, and proceded to complete three courses in this field, with a good grade average, and get job referrals from the professor.  Attempts were made to sabotage my participation (through withholding transportation, or delaying child care even in the home).  The same techniques that worked earlier getting me out of my chosen profession worked also in jeopardizing other types of work.  Mail was intercepted and some of it tossed; I got a private PO box:  not acceptable.  I started a business from home on a dime:  not acceptable.  Finally I was ordered to work FT nights, and write in my salary on his applicatino for credit (not to be shared).  By this time, I was in compliance mode, and thereafter attempted to separately contact the credit company as to the “coercion” factor in my signaure they’d just seen.  It was too late, and one of the major mistakes of this marriage.

    Things continued to escalate, including weapons, physical injury and in general, I was getting more and more frightened, and the house more and more dysfunctional (utilities-wise).  The safest place for my children and me to be appeared to be NOT at home, which is a crazy half-lifestyle.  I couldn’t fully “exhale” at home, for the most part, except while engaged in acivities with the girls.  Routines were not respected, or schedules, and the constant interruptions kept one off-balance.

    Due to attempts to keep me carless we spent lots of time on public transportation, which is great for teaching children to read (so many signs with large letters, all CAPS:  Stop, Door, Exit, Open, and so forth), but lousy for efficiency, and very frustrating.  Little distances, such as even as few as 3-4 miles, sometimes took hours to go, with stroller and bags and two toddlers.   

    After such difficulty for those years, it was important and unbelievably empowering to have operational control over my own life.  Results began to be tied again to effort, and not consistently sabotaged to create failures.  Even moderate successes provided their own incentive and energies.  Some momentum was built up during these years while the restraining order was on.

    To be institutionally forced and emotionally blackmailed into a state of taking arbitrary orders again grates on the soul.  The concept of moving forward in life and expecting to take 5 steps in a row has basically left my thinking — at some point, the psyche won’t stick its neck out again.  I am currently working on this, and on ways to remove my exposure to sudden sabotage again, because by now the stakes (and debt) seem higher, there is less reservoir of good will in the general community (based on work performed for them) and there is this energy/age factor.  

    It’s been a good exercise, but my brain is tired indeed, and what I had been working for — children, and profession – are out of the picture for now, and I can’t see yet that progress or results even happened.  This is how it goes trying to leave a controlling personality who is able to locate other controlling personalities to work with him, and find institutions to support the same premise.   Many things get sloughed off in the process, and lots of “idols” bite the dust (which is good, obviously).  Hope gets detached from the immediate and hinged onto the more philosophical.   If that explanation is helpful. 


    Trying to put some themes to all of this, and in the larger historical (last few decades in my country) context, the clearest one I can see is male backlash to feminism, as expressed through a variety of male-designed institutions.  Women are quite as much involved in hating and oppressing themselves, or others, and this is hard to take and see.

    We get this situation where a woman is too “stupid,” supposedly, to raise her own child that she loves, and where family members who also love her and would like to support the situation (handling the “safety” concern) were automatically discredited.  However, in cases (USA, Sheila Riggs) where a separating mother seeks to protect her four children from TWO generations of abusers who ARE relatives, she is jailed, and an inter-state battle develops (California/Texas) on the issue.  Another woman has to flee the U.S. to protect her children.  Yet in the UK, a woman with supportive family is still going to have her daughter forced out for adoption, unless she can win in court.

    It appears, on networking and reading, that my situation is common after abuse in marriage:

    IN the marriage, we were suddenly hated for being too independent, too educated, and too “uppity.”  Our bodies, including sensitive parts of them, including neck, nipples, womb, face, teeth, buttocks, are targeted for assault as well as many times personal property (symbolic destruction of valued things), relationships with outsiders, and engagement with the world outside the home.  If we try to lie down flat enough, we are hated for being too passive.  If we stand up tall, we are hated for standing up tall.  Finding no safe way to “be,” let alone be ourSELVES, fully human, we then get help and evict the batterer to protect our bodies and (many women, this becomes  the thing that saved THEM, because after a point, they don’t care about themselves so much), we wanted to protect our CHILDREN.

    So we go to court, becoming single, and separate, getting a restraining order.

    For a while, this functions, sort of, and lives are stabilized and rebuilt.  Perhaps we seek child support, perhaps we seek a 2nd relationship, perhaps we simply seek to grow more independent — and we are then in family court fighting AGAIN for independence.  We again seek help and sanctuary elsewhere.

    In many faith communities, we are again hated or treated suspiciously for being SINGLE, having divorced our man.  Sometimes the families that didn’t protect (or teach boundaries to start with) dismiss us again for being single (this was my case), which is translated in the communal mind as “reverting to infantile,” when the fact of th ematter is, we had a fast course in growing up, and wise to the evils and dangers in this world, AND doing something mature — fight back, seek protection, or flee.  Those are adult-level survival skills, and no sign of being infantile.

    Nonprofits direct such women here, there, and so and so.  Not knowing the full scope of the politics, the courts, or our legal rights yet, we sometimes sign away portions of them.  We compromise the Full Stop NO!! unintentionally.  We still thing that the basic institutions represent us and will help, and, mentally, do not suspect THEM of being as dishonest, volatile, and abusive as our ex (or, extended family, Or, extended community) was.  Surely he was the abnormality and the exception.

    We go instead of to nonprofits, to law, to law enforcement, and to refusing to bargain away any more rights, and find THAT system hostile to women.

    Researching, in stunned distress (and many years later), WHY, we (I speak for myself and others I have dealt with), manage to get infrastructure enough going, process a LOT of dialogue, and find out that it’s coming from our FEderal government, and has been going on for over a decade, Presidents Republican and Democrat alike and fueled in great part by some of our own religions.

    We follow the news, noticing what indicators preceded the latest family wipeout, foster care disgrace, or failed situation.  We follow (I have) research institutes dedicated to “violence against women” and absorb adn believe their statistics, only to learn that equally powerful and widespread associations, well-positioned, are spreading doctrines, year after year, and with far more funding than we have, that DIRECTLY oppose what we just read in a reputable source  (I refer to NCJRS justice database in the US, and other sites listed on my blogroll).  The truth is out, but few are interested.

    I also strategically examined WHY is it that each time I go to court, I lose something significant, no matter how ridiculous the accusation, and how easily available evidence to the contrary is. I learned a strategic principle:  It seems the courts / judges don’t like women who appear to be informed; and they DO apparently sense a kinship with men who commit crimes.  They do not respect compliance with their own court orders, or see it as a character indicator, although disobedience by a woman can be severely and quickly punished.

    I analyze the fact that I have been in analysis mode too much, although that happens to be still safer for me than in action mode, which typically provokes a retaliation.  In this Dizzy DMZ manner of life, time moves on.

    I hope that that “stupid” British woman can outsmart the court that labeled her, hire a psychologist to evaluate their behavior(s), and get them to give up more kids trapped in spheres of influence.  A spiderweb comes to mind.


    Other means I have considered:  A female moratorium of about six months (worldwide if possible) not just on sex, but also on child-bearing.  It’s clear that to enforce the moratorium on sex, we’d have to find a safe place for all the minor children, boys and girls.  We would inform the gentlemen that (for a change) if THEY would be good boys, they will be rewarded, physically and emotionally.

    That is, of course, the message women have been given, century after century.

    This of course is impossible, but it would seem that if auto workers can strike, or other laborers, well, why not US?  Why should we as a gender be colonized?  That “sucks,” if you pardon the colloquialism.

    I’m sure this would be gladly espoused by the healthy marriage folks (like the pun?), and probably resisted with open “arms.”  Yes, this is obviously hypothetical, temporary in nature, and probably not possible.  

    But at least it might be a break from Designer Family by Court Decree, which is a recipe for women, as well as now men, becoming emotionally detached from the “Fruit of the Womb”

    With the word “Islam” meaning submission, and the other religions placing a premium on this, and with the federal governments, courts, schools, etc., across the world also demanding submission in the name of (whatever the current greater good is), I am not hopeful for any worldwide solution.

    It’s not the pay, it’s the ability to retain a relationship with the fruits of our labor, that is at stake here.

    Irresponsible Behavior in Promoting Responsible Fatherhood

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    I was ALMOST done for today, when I saw again another site of a man protesting the DV laws.  

    Being the snoop that I have become (bloodhound when I smell a rat?), I went from this link back through “Equal Justice Foundation” (which has automatic contributions from Federal Employees, but promotes known fatherhood shucksters, hucksters, lawyers, and media experts, including this one):


    Barack Obama on the Jeffrey Leving Radio Show

    It even has captions for the audio-impaired, which my PC currently is.

    Here’s another resounding promotion of FATHERHOOD a few days before MOTHER’s Days, from these same two.  At first I thought it was related directly to the “fatherhood woes” MSNBC article I recently commented on.

    “Obama and Leving To Endorse Responsible Fatherhood on Soul 106”

    Chicago May 9. PR/Newswire:  Attorney Jeff Leving’s Exclusive interview with  Presidential Hopeful Senator Barack Obama will appear on the Jeffrey Leving Father’s Legal Rights Radio Show  on (what appears to be close to Mother’s Day 2008, again……).

    The Focus of the Inteview will be on Obama’s Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act that he re-introduced.  As President, Obama will sign this family-strengthening act into law.  (after him here comes Senator Evan Bayh, same deal).  Fatherhood woes, MY EYE!

    Less than a year later, in the same Land of Lincoln, a Governor was arrested for attempting to sell Obama’s Senate seat.  

    (Link is the 12/08/08 Times online.UK report,)

    The Governor of Illinois was arrested yesterday for allegedly trying to sell Barack Obama’s vacated US Senate seat to the highest bidder.

    The arrest of Rod Blagojevich and John Harris, his chief of staff, cast a light on the home state of the President-elect, which has a history of endemic corruption.

    The charges include allegations that the Democratic governor, who has served two-terms, conspired with Antoin “Tony” Rezko, a former friend and political donor of Mr Obama, in schemes requiring individuals and companies to pay kickbacks in return for state contracts.

    This appears to be business as usual.  (The Oldest Profession — Salesmanship).  (AND the 2nd oldest, in a sense….)

    Here is the SENATE Task Force on Responsible Fatherhood (Bear in mind — this task force is at least 10 years old)


    Members are invited to speak at NFI events held throughout the country, including Congressional briefings and the annual Fatherhood Awards Gala, and are regularly updated on any developments and new research findings relevant to the fatherhood movement.

    The Senate Task Force is co-chaired by Senator Evan Bayh (D – IN) and Senator John Thune (R-SD).


    The Members of the Senate Task Force:
    Lisa Murkowski – AK
    John McCain – AZ
    Christopher Dodd – CT
    Michael Crapo – ID
    Sam Brownback – KS
    Barbara Mikulski – MD
    Arlen Specter – PA
    Robert Bennett – UT
    Jeff Sessions – AL
    Jon Kyl – AZ
    Tom Harkin – IA
    Pat Roberts – KS
    Mitch McConnell – KY
    Mary Landrieu – LA
    Edward Kennedy – MA
    Susan Collins – ME
    Olympia Snowe – ME
    James Inhofe – OK
    Jim DeMint – SC
    Tim Johnson – SD
    Kay Bailey Hutchison – TX
    Orrin Hatch – UT
    Mike Enzi – WY

    Here is the “Congressional” One (i..e, House of Reps, I gather):
    Being a member of the Congressional Task Force on Responsible Fatherhood signifies a commitment to the responsible fatherhood movement and a
    devotion to supporting legislation that promotes and fosters responsible fatherhood. Members are invited to speak at NFI events that are held throughout the country, including Congressional briefings and the Annual Fatherhood Awards Gala, and are regularly updated on any developments and new research findings relevant to the fatherhood movement.







    The Congressional Task Force is chaired by

    Reps. Joseph Pitts (R-PA), Mike McIntyre (D-NC),

    Robert Aderholt (R-AL), John Sullivan (R-OK), and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).

    The Members of the Congressional Task Force:
    Dennis Cardoza – CA-18
    Bob Filner – CA-51
    Jack Kingston – GA-1
    David Scott – GA-13
    Sanford Bishop – GA-2
    Luis Gutierrez – IL-4
    Donald Manzullo – IL-16
    Daniel Lipinski – IL-3
    Mark Souder – IN-3
    Mike Pence – IN-6
    John Sarbanes – MD-3
    Elijah Cummings – MD-7
    Chris Van Hollen – MD-8
    Roy Blunt – MO-7
    Bob Etheridge – NC-2
    Walter Jones – NC-3
    Sue Myrick – NC-9
    Lee Terry – NE-2
    Donald Payne – NJ-10
    Peter King – NY-3
    Todd Platts – PA-19
    Joe Wilson – SC-2
    John Duncan – TN-2
    Zach Wamp – TN-3
    Kay Granger – TX-12
    Chet Edwards – TX-17
    Solomon Ortiz – TX-27
    Frank Wolf – VA-10
    J. Randy Forbes – VA-4


    What IS this, a perpetual motion machine, administration to administration?  


    The Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood is a state commission established by the Illinois State Legislature to promote the positive involvement of both parents in the lives of their children.

     It’s very name indicates the truth.  It has assumed that women are most normally the caretakers of the children, and because of this, and ONLY because of this, has chosen to try to equal the balance by  representing the interests of fathers.  Across the board.


    Our Mission
    The mission of the Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood is to significantly increase the number of children in Illinois that grow up with a responsible father in their lives. We seek to do this through:

    1) Raising public awareness of the impact of father absence on children

    2) Assisting state agencies and other service providers the resources they need to promote responsible fatherhood

    3) Reforming perceptions within state agencies and other service providers regarding the role of fathers as parents

    4) Advocating for programs, policies and legislation that will encourage the positive involvement of fathers 

    The Responsible Fatherhood Act
    Signed into law – Aug. 5, 2003

    Judge Stuttley – February 16th, 2008 Symposium on Parental Alienation Syndrome

    {{The American Prosecutors Research Institute discredited this as far back as 2003.  Didn’t deter Judge Stuttley, I suppose….}}

    Alex Roseborough – March 1st, 2008 Symposium on Psychology and the Law and Its Affects on Fatherhood

    {{that’s “Effects,” . . .. }}

    Jeffery Leving – March 1st, 2008 Symposium on Psychology and the Law and Its Affects on Fatherhood

    Annual Reports 
    2008 – 2007 
    – 2006 – 2005 – 2004

    In ILLINOIS Dept. of Health and Human Services alone:

    Administered by: Bureau of Child and Adolescent Health

    The mission of the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative is to end father absence by connecting children and fathers and promoting responsible fatherhood by equipping men to be father and father figures. The Illinois Fatherhood Initiative has developed the “Boot Camp for New Dads” program to address this issue. This is a national hospital-based program for expectant and new dads to prepare them to be actively involved fathers. The Boot Camp curriculum is a half-day workshop for expectant fathers held at local hospitals or community-based organizations. Each expectant father is taught the basics of being a new dad: how to hold a baby, change a diaper, what to expect in the first months and much more. This unique community education program for first-time fathers has Boot Camp veterans (together with their two to three-month-old babies) show the ropes to soon-to-be dads. These new dads return as veterans, continuing the cycle and offering their best advice to the next class.  

    Its target population is “First time fathers”.  Illinois Fatherhood Initiative is currently involved with 20 hospitals located in high-risk communities in Illinois. During the last year, over 1,000 men attended Boot Camp for New Dads in Illinois.


    Founder’s Message

    Illinois Fatherhood Initiative (IFI) was created in February 1997 (3 years after VAWA passed. 1 yr before the US Senate posted the National Return to Fathers’ day, etc….) to address the increasing problem of father absence in society.  Research indicates that some 24,000,000 children – 1.1 million in Illinois alone – are growing up today in homes without their father.

    David is founder of Illinois Fatherhood Initiative, the country’s first state wide non-profit fatherhood organization, whose mission is connecting children and fathers by promoting responsible fathering and helping to equip men to become better fathers and father-figures.  IFI has programs in schools, hospital, and workplaces across Illinois.  


    Are we DONE yet?  It’s been 12 years!  I find the concept that this is NEW a little odd.  Why are there continual re-introductions of this act, and who is monitoring its success?  Are fewer families getting annihilated?  Are more Dads paying child support?  Are women who left their men getting back with them, with POSITIVE results?  Are fewer boys sowing their wild oats, and fewer girls deciding to have babies without a man in the home?  



    No, I did not notice that in May 2008 (see distant reference above, on this post), Presidential Hopeful then-Senator Barack Obama was adding to my uncollectable child support woes by signing on, AGAIN, to MORE fatherhood initiatives, which were woefully unattended to, not noticed in the US Senate or House of Representatives, and woefully underfunded as well:


    However THIS one was a year earlier 2008.  Why I didn’t notice in 2008?  I was attempting to chase down EDD after the DV order having been overturned, and the DCSS  (translation: OCSE) having refused to enforce child support OR standing custody orders, I became job-less.  As I worked in a NON-state-funded Nonprofit (a.k.a., the Catholic Church), I got zero unemployment.  Serves me right for not having known better than to, female, work in a church that for centuries wouldn’t let young girls (only boys) sing some of the most beautiful choral music around.  And had to settle out of court on child abuse cases. However, at that time I DID, until just previously.  All contact with my kids had been erased under what I NOW realize to be an out-come based, federally-funded policy to reduce child support arrears for fathers by granting them more access to their kids, no matter why such access was restrained to start with (say, prison, anyone?).  

    While I was unaware of THIS:

    OMB Control No:  0970-0204 

           Expiration Date:    11/30/2008 


    (OMB = Office of Mgmt & Budget) 

    State Child Access Program Survey 



     Program Reporting Requirements 

    For Participation in the 

    Grants to States for Access and 

    Visitation Program – 

    Description of Projects & Participant Data




    The purpose of this survey is to provide information to Congress on the progress of services 

    provided under the Child Access and Visitation Grant, the goal of which is to “…support and 

    facilitate a noncustodial parents’ access to and visitation with their children.”   


    As part of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, states 

    are required to monitor, evaluate, and report on programs funded through this grant program in 

    accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary.  A final rule delineating the program 

    data reporting requirements was published by the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement in 

    the Federal Register (64 FR 15132) on March 30, 1999, and specifies the collection of data as 



    “Section 303.109(c)  REPORTING.  The state must: 

    (1) Report a detailed description of each program funded, providing the following  

    information as appropriate: service providers and administrators, service area  

    (rural/urban), population served (income, race, marital status{{WHY NOT GENDER??}}), program goals, application  

    or referral process (including referral sources), voluntary or mandatory nature of the  

    programs, types of activities and length and features of a completed program; and 


    (2) Report data including: the number of applicants/referrals for each program, the total 

    number of participating individuals, and the number of persons who have completed  

    program requirements by authorized activities (mediation—voluntary and mandatory, 

    counseling, education, development of parenting plans, visitation enforcement— 

    including monitoring, supervision and neutral drop-off and pickup) and development of  

    guidelines for visitation and alternative custody arrangements.” 


    The local service provider is: 

     …responsible for completing the “Local Service Provider Survey” for clients served and  

    submitting this information to the state who, in turn, will submit it to OCSE .  {{OFFICE OF CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT}} A new 

    feature of the survey (see Section D:  Local Service Provider Worksheet) requires that  grantees report on the following: 



    #1.  Increased NCP parenting time with children. 

    (NCP = non custodial parent) 


    DEFINITION of Required Outcome: 

    “An increase in the number of hours, days, weekends, and/or holidays as compared to 

     parenting time prior to the provision of access and visitation services.” 

    HELLO, FOLKS?  It’s NOT about the children, it’s about the Fed wanting the TANF (welfare) roles to look better, and about CHILD SUPPORT enforcement — and THAT looking better by this method:  A “required outcome” of more time with the children, which then would justify lowered child support arrears for the (typipcally) fathers.
    Please tell me how is it that a LEGAL PROCESS can, by Federal Mandate (or funding is withdrawn), have a “REQUIRED OUTCOME” except that this legal process become itself a fraud and sham?









    HERE is from 2006 — ALONE:


    Nationwide, States Deliver a Range of Access/Visitation Services

    States determine services to be provided which include those defined in authorizing legislation (i.e., mediation, counseling, parent education, development of parenting plans, and visitation enforcement, including supervised visitation and/or neutral drop-off and pick-up). All services must be related to the overall goal of the AV program which is to “…enable states to establish and administer programs to support and facilitate non-custodial parents’ access to and visitation of their children….”

    The majority of States provide more than one service, and in many instances, parents are the recipients of more than one service. Listed below are the number of parents that received each service type and the number of States that provided these services in FY 2006.

    Number of parents that received each service type and the number of States that provided these services in FY 2006
    Service Type Number of States Number of Parents
    Mediation 40 17,654
    Counseling 31 4,529
    Parent Education 36 47,994
    Parenting Plans 38 15,340
    Visitation Enforcement: Supervised Visitation 46 16,089
    Visitation Enforcement: Neutral Drop-Off/Pick-Up 32 5,025


    (I just added a link to the “Blogroll” for this pdf, which is recommended reading, and was found at “stopfamilyviolence.org”  it is reporting troublesome matters as of 2002 regarding these programs (co. “MIINCAVA”).  


    I.The Growing Call for Supervised Visitation Programs 

    For years, judges have asked parties litigating custody cases to find “neutral third parties,” generally 

    a family member or close friend, to supervise visitation. {{AND  NOW YOU KNOW WHY THEY HAVE BEEN ASKING THIS — FEDERAL GRANTS REQUIRE THIS}} This can be a daunting task for a volunteer, 

    however, given the time and energy required of a visitation supervisor. Even if a family member 

    or friend agrees to supervise visits, he or she may be vulnerable to the noncustodial parent’s demands 

    and threats, rendering the supervision ineffective.4There is also a risk that the volunteer may simply 

    not believe the allegations made about the visiting parent and may decide to only loosely monitor 

    the visit, further endangering the child.5 Supervised visitation programs6 address this problem by 

    providing ongoing contact between a child and his or her noncustodial7 parent in the presence of 

    a neutral third party in cases where physical or sexual abuse, neglect, parental dysfunction, or do- 

    mestic violence has been alleged.8These programs often include a variety of services9 ranging 

    from one-on-one supervision with a monitor continuously in the room, to visits in large rooms 

    monitored by several supervisors.10 Expertise of staff also varies; because of limited resources, 

    many programs must rely heavily on volunteers, students, and paid community members to provide 

    monitoring of visits.11The level of security present at programs also varies, with only some programs 

    offering on-site private security officers or law enforcement personnel.12


    I.The Growing Call for Supervised Visitation Programs 

    For years, judges have asked parties litigating custody cases to find “neutral third parties,” generally 

    a family member or close friend, to supervise visitation. This can be a daunting task for a volunteer, 

    however, given the time and energy required of a visitation supervisor. Even if a family member 

    or friend agrees to supervise visits, he or she may be vulnerable to the noncustodial parent’s demands 

    and threats, rendering the supervision ineffective.4There is also a risk that the volunteer may simply 

    not believe the allegations made about the visiting parent and may decide to only loosely monitor 

    the visit, further endangering the child.5 Supervised visitation programs6 address this problem by 

    providing ongoing contact between a child and his or her noncustodial7 parent in the presence of 

    a neutral third party in cases where physical or sexual abuse, neglect, parental dysfunction, or do- 

    mestic violence has been alleged.8These programs often include a variety of services9 ranging 

    from one-on-one supervision with a monitor continuously in the room, to visits in large rooms 

    monitored by several supervisors.10 Expertise of staff also varies; because of limited resources, 

    many programs must rely heavily on volunteers, students, and paid community members to provide 

    monitoring of visits.11The level of security present at programs also varies, with only some programs 

    offering on-site private security officers or law enforcement personnel.12 

    FOR MORE ON THIS, SEE THE LINK TO RIGHT OF THIS PAGE. . .. NB:  The word “high-conflict” is code for “we don’t really believe it was domestic violence or child abuse.”  



    It is important to note that parents are counted once per service and that the amount of time or service hours devoted to each parent is not collected. As a result, parent education yields high numbers of parents served because it usually entails a one-time-only participation in a 2-4 hour seminar. Supervised visitation, on the other hand, is considered a time-intensive service that a noncustodial parent (NCP) utilizes over a period of time usually determined by the court. States do not report on the development of their service guidelines.

    Access Services Result in Increased Parenting Time with Children

    In FY 2006, approximately 34,212 fathers and 36,830 mothers received access and visitation services. In addition, 25,667 NCPs increased parenting time with their children. ((This can be misleading, because for a single exchange to take place, typically both parents are going to be involved.  the point is, they need supervised visitation because someone  was abusive!  or, someone reported abuse, and supervised visitation was ordered in retaliation!)(see my earlier post today, Jack Straton, Ph.D. talks about this).  “Supervised Visitation Time” is PAID-FOR TIME, and is a performance.  It lacks the quality of the spontaneous, SAFE relationship that would otherwise exist.  It is a concept that arises from a wish to overcome the sole custody, or no-contact situation requested when there has been either violence towards a parent, or abuse of a child to start with! ! !

    Parent Referral Sources to Access Services

    Courts continue to be the primary source of parent referrals (50%) to AV services. Child support agencies completed 22% of parent referrals in FY 2006, a slight drop from 24% in FY 2005.

    Local Service Providers

    In FY 2006, States contracted with 327 court and/or community-based, non-profit service providers for the delivery of access and visitation services.

    Funding by State

    Access and Visitation Grants:

    Federal Allocation and State Match


    Number of parents that received each service type and the number of States that provided these services in FY 2006
    State Federal Allocation State Match Total Funding
    Alabama $142,610 $15,846 $158,456
    Alaska $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    Arizona $179,474 $19,942 $199,415
    Arkansas $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    California $988,710 $109,857 $1,098,567
    Colorado $130,679 $14,520 $145,199
    Connecticut $101,505 $11,278 $112,783
    Delaware $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    District of Columbia $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    Florida $519,757 $57,751 $577,508
    Georgia $272,041 $30,227 $302,267
    Guam $100,000 $0 $100,000
    Hawaii $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    Idaho $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    Illinois $329,141 $36,571 $365,712
    Indiana $164,289 $18,254 $182,544
    Iowa $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    Kansas $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    Kentucky $115,835 $12,871 $128,706
    Louisiana $175,073 $19,453 $194,525
    Maine $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    Maryland $176,152 $19,572 $195,724
    Massachusetts $171,937 $19,104 $191,041
    Michigan $289,707 $32,190 $321,897
    Minnesota $123,675 $13,742 $137,417
    Mississippi $113,215 $12,579 $125,795
    Missouri $171,130 $19,014 $190,144
    Montana $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    Nebraska $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    Nevada $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    New Hampshire $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    New Jersey $217,628 $24,181 $241,809
    New Mexico $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    New York $605,368 $67,263 $672,631
    North Carolina $272,566 $30,285 $302,851
    North Dakota $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    Ohio $334,160 $37,129 $371,288
    Oklahoma $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    Oregon $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    Pennsylvania $341,055 $37,895 $378,950
    Puerto Rico $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    Rhode Island $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    South Carolina $142,481 $15,831 $158,312
    South Dakota $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    Tennessee $178,061 $19,785 $197,845
    Texas $646,627 $71,847 $718,474
    Utah $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    Vermont $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    Virgin Islands $100,000 $0 $100,000
    Virginia $192,500 $21,389 $213,889
    Washington $171,388 $19,043 $190,431
    West Virginia $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    Wisconsin $133,236 $14,804 $148,040
    Wyoming $100,000 $11,111 $111,111
    $10,000,000 $1,088,889 $11,088,888

    Background Information

    Designated State Agencies

    In 1996, governors designated the State agency responsible for administering the Access and Visitation Grant program. To date, the majority of State access and visitation programs are managed by either the State Administrative Offices of the Court or State Child Support Enforcement Agencies.

    Designated Federal Agency

    The Office of Child Support Enforcement, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is officially responsible for managing this grant program.


    I told you above, it’s not about the kids, it’s about money — and the transfer of it.

    Staff Contact:


    Tracie Pogue, Program Specialist
    Office of Child Support Enforcement
    Administration for Children and Families
    370 L’Enfant Promenade, S.W.
    4th Floor
    Washington, DC 20447
    Email: Tracie.Pogue@acf.hhs.gov


    Enabling Legislation

    The “Grants to States for Access and Visitation” Program (42 U.S.C. 669b) was authorized by Congress through passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.

    The goal of the program is to:

    “…enable States to establish and administer programs to support and facilitate non-custodial parents’ {{TRANSLATION AT THAT TIME — FATHER”S!! }}  access to and visitation of their children….”

    States are directed to accomplish this goal through the provision of services including, but not limited to:

    1. mediation (mandatory and voluntary);
    2. counseling;
    3. education (e.g., parent education);
    4. development of parenting plans;
    5. visitation enforcement (including monitored supervision and neutral drop-off/pick-up); and
    6. development of guidelines for visitation and alternative custody arrangements.

    Important Note

    This is a formula grant program. States have the discretion to decide what services to provide, organizations to be funded, geographic areas to be covered, and persons to be served.



    Annual Funding

    $10 million appropriated each year by Congress.


    Here is a less recent link regarding VAWA, complete with a lot of tables.

    I am not able to take more time today to make sense of it.  I KNOW that when I went for help, and searcheed high and low for it, it was not found, to be able to protect as a single-by-choice, competent, working mother, to continue safely engaged in my work, which otherwise would’ve been able to support this household.  The DAD had been contributing less and less, with little to no enforcement.  Violent style incidents (including stalking) continued to escalatel adn expand in scope and quantity up to, and beyond the point my daughters were finally (and in some exasperation on their part, continuing to be unwilling participants in this), they were stolen on an overnight visitaiton.  I could not get them back or prevent that action.  After that, I still could not, yet, enforce child support arrears, or stop the FURTHER stalking that took place.  


    From my perspective, it certainlyo seems that the decks were stacked against me.  I believe these two movements :  “Fatherhood” (in name at least) and “Violence Against Women” are working contrary to each other, both of them soaking up tons of federal, state, local, and nonprofit community $$.  

    In my about 18 years of involement in the abuse (enduring, the attempting to leave), I have ONE and one ONLY positive experience of intervention by any police officer in any community in which I have lived.  After our case went to family law, it appears to me that I became an “enemy” of the officers I sought help from, with a single exceptin or two of neutrality.  Simulataneously, as finances got worse (and worse), the car was increasingly ticketed and cited, including once at 3am in front of my own house (where no garage was available, or off-street parking) and after I’d already been to court to get an extension on registration.  Before this deadline had expired, the car was towed, and later sold, making it nearly impossible to get to work around here, certainly work that would sustain a livelihood.

    Here’s a link:


    You can attempt to decipher it yourself.  I was Googling “2006 Funding of VAWA act.”

    Let ~Behavior~ not ~Gender~, Determine Custody once Crime has Occurred. FYI, Law, not Psychology, Defines Crime.

    leave a comment »

    “Peace” without “justice” is not peace.


    Any child’s and any woman’s right to physical life and freedom from molestation and abuse ALWAYS should prevail over the child’s purported need to access to both parents, when one is abusive.  

    One wants to ask why, in the domain of “Family Law” that “family” should always prevail over “Safety” when kids are involved.  Suppose there were no children?  Would someone dare to tell an adult woman, she has a “right” to the man she just left, and is incomplete without him?  Or some other man..  Or cannot earn a living without him? 

    One woman without an in-home abuser, or without one stalking her after being evicted, is ALWAYS more competent, and her children in better hands,  than that same women with no exit from the abusive relationship.  The fact that so far all are alive should be enough testimony to networking and someone’s bravery.  MOST communities to NOT confront a man that is paying some of their bills.  The fact she got out probably relates to initiative and resourcefulness, which are transferable skills.

    FYI, Domestic Violence, and its response, The Fatherhood Movement, are industries like any other.  Solve the main problem — put an IN-HOME deterrent to men beating their women, or thinking this is acceptable,  – – – and 9 times out of 10, she’ll probably stay.  IF she leaves, then she gets the children, and too bad, sir — abuse was a choice.  These two industries are then out of commission and will have to go find something else to fight about that does not have human casualties, preferably.   And the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services will have to go find someone else to study, and then administrate and “serve.”  They can keep their essential departments, and delete those millions going towards grants to “promote responsible fatherhood” and “collect child support” and going into prisons to find men to seek increased access to their children in exchange for lowered child support arrears, which is simply a way to pass the “buck” off to a different set of professionals that come into play when the mothers, naturally, resist and protest this insult.  ONce they find out about it….

    IS it better for the greater good that families continue to be wiped out (fewer mouths to feed?) than that we stop this insanity?  These family wipeouts, or woman-wipeouts, accompanied at times by kid- or father-wipeouts (or, the intergenerational perpetuation of PTSD, the trauma that accompanies war, which FYI, this is…) will not stop until the myth that ALL the people operating under EITHER DV initiatives OR Fatherhood Initiatives are doing so out of pure motives and the wish to save individual families, or families as a whole.  

    They aren’t.  They are busily either bouncing angrily off each other, and frequently interbreeding, endlessly, draining the lower ends of society and enriching the upper (Harvard, Yale, Indiana, George Washington, other institutions that receive grants to study these problems).   Middle classes continue to muddle along, thinking mindlessly that those experts have it all under control, to this day.

    The last incidents I heard/read of were yesterday — a 15 year old girl reported missing 2006 shows up — buried — in her father’s back yard.  He was already in prison on some other charge, and supposedly methamphetamine was involved.  I didn’t finish reading about it.  “National Father’s Return.”  He was a biological father and a father figure.  Not too bright, apparently.

    And a friend of mine, who had to (first time in her life) preside over a memorial service and subsequent cremation for a youngish- (45 yr old) male who had thrown his 70 year old female mother across the room in retaliation for her having tried to surreptitiously call 911.  She managed to flee (NB:  her own home where her son was living) to a neighbor, 911 DID eventually come, along with a SWAT team, and after the man, having realized I gather he had crossed the Rubicon, shot up the place (including several windows, and a few cats, as it was a cat rescue place), and eventually himself.  My friend, whose husband was ordained but out of town, stepped in and presided over the thing, as well as helped participate in cleaning up the mess.  That was less than 24 hours ago, and only a sampling.  We cannot keep up with the atrocioties.  That was not a custody case, but it WAS a male adult who somehow felt like a failure, and spread some of this around the neighborhood.  

    This same state just received (I also read yesterday), $2.8 Million to prevent “Violence Against Women” as its own Senator promotes a yet larger, more ambitious Fatherhood Initiative, press says.  WELL, make up your mind — which do we want?  Nationalized Fatherhood with ongoing fatalities, or a balanced budget without them?  

    More likely, a perpetual cash flow in the direction of mental health professionals is the end game.  I will bite my tongue and stay on topic here.

    Regarding my last post, about a young woman who fled to Australia from England (from her Serbian husband), and was ordered BACK there to determine custody, whereupon she was shortly after asking police to drive her to a “safe house, ” dragged from between her two sons, in the back seat of a car her mother was driving to flee for safety, and (by this same man) stabbed to death in front of them all — there is a simpler answer which was proposed in at least 1992, and has been systematically fought in Family Law courts throughout the U.S., as well as in others.  

    It is a rare woman who can afford to fly to another continent for safety as fast an effectively as these dangerous & deadly ideas, applied in the context of previous domestic violence, are flying around the internet, and their proponents around the globe promoting them.

    This simple, sane answer ALSO has been written into laws in most (U.S.) states, containing the words  “rebuttable presumption against custody being granted to a batterer…

    What’s a good upstanding batterer to DO?  The women are getting uppity?  Easy – retreat to certain venues (where those feminazi radical _ itches are not welcome, — and the existence of which women fleeing violence are not informed.  If such a woman WAS informed, the average one can’t afford to attend anyhow…) and focus on other, nonjudicial processes, are ignoring, at least until said laws can be diluted, and overturned, and stomped on, and out of the public conscience — kind of like some people are, in this form of violence.

    Folks, the protective laws are already on the books — they are just not being enforced! Initially, this confuses people coming to court for that purpose — the legal process, and contempt for its violation.  BUT, I say, Family Court ITSELF exists as a practice and as a venue, to overturn those laws.  It, like them, has a history.  I didn’t know til I studied, nor will most.  Here’s part of it:



    From their Intro:

    By the mid 1990s California NOW began receiving an increase in letters and phone calls from 

    mothers throughout the state who were being victimized by judges,lawyers,mediators,evaluators 

    and attorneys for children in the Family Court system. Some women were being cheated in the 

    process of dividing marital property and assets,while other women were unable to get the court’s 

    assistance with child support collection.{{THIS IS KEY AND A PART OF THE PROCESS}}

    The vast majority of communication,however,came from 

    women who were fit mothers and the primary caretakers of their children who had custody 

    revoked from them and given to the father.Decent fathers did not take wrongful advantage of the 

    courts situation; it was the abusers who did. Too often the communications came from citizens 

    whose children had made allegations of abuse against their fathers, although a smaller number 

    came from those experiencing domestic violence and those for whom joint custody was simply 

    unworkable. It appeared from the volume of communications that the problems, loss of custody 

    through gender bias, denial of due process, fraud and corruption and alleged syndromes such as 

    parental alienation,were occurring throughout the state,and that it was not being addressed effec- 

    tively,if at all,by any branch of government.More recently,women who have experienced this have 

    become organized at the grassroots level for the purpose of shedding light on this growing prob- 

    lem.These groups turned to CA NOW for assistance.The increasing communications from these 

    individuals and groups have demanded action from CA NOW to address the lack of governmen- 

    tal response and initiate reform in the Family Court system.



    I would never have called CA NOW if I had not tried other arenas without success first.  As a “woman of faith” (sic), this organization as a whole did not speak for my interests and beliefs.  Yet, no faith community or government agency was.  The nonprofits had played into the hands of my abuser (see above description), nor could I get law enforcement to enforce what I had, by now, learned the laws were — or even an existing custody order.  Increasingly frustrated and indignant at the ongoing, perpetual interruption of my life, and resumption of my rightful, nontraumatized, contributing place in a new community I’d moved to (for some — but not too far from their father — distance), I had already learned from national organizations, such as “NCFJCJ” that mediation was inadvisable for people in my situation, yet it was being rammed down my throat every time an incident was created that brought us to court.  I had also, as my manner is, studied this topic of domestic violence (I study things that affect my family!), and found more than one author who directly spoke to my situation, including Lundy Bancroft’s cogent analsyses, “Why does he DO that? ” and “The Batterer As Parent.”  I had experientially determined that the local DV supportt group could provide moral support to endure abuse, but at this point, my concern was to STOP it, not endure it more graciously — and this is where I returned tos etting firm boundarie,s in my situation, and saying “NO” or “MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS ON YOUR OWN TIME” more often.

      It is devilishly hard to analyze a situation as it enfolds, and when survival is an issue, but between my background as a musician, and in diverse places adn fields within music, plus my 10 years with an abuser, I had some skillsets.  


    The further afield (wider and wider spheres of influence I investigated), the more shocking — and chronically common — is the situation.  

    Nothing, really, could prepare a person who has been a lifelong citizen of one country for such widespread and uniform betrayal by this country of people of my profile, that profile being (1) FEMALE, and (2) additionally — and let’s face it, many females share this other trait — MOTHER. People who have already been betrayed and oppressed or diminished on some other additional characteristic — such as skin color or ethnic background, accent (i.e., national oriogins or familys’ national origins) or religion, have been better prepared.


    Nothing in my personal experience, which was not exactly that narrow, in the standard sense, prepared me for an assortment of the acts of (1) marriage and (2) giving birth to children — having, in others’ minds, suddenly, and permamently, infantilized this 40- year old woman with a diverse background, and some sigifnicant educational experience.  


    In other words, I took foir granted things other women had fought hard for in decades past, and (being busy working, and otherwise engaged in life), had not been privy to what the U.S. Congress, prompted by initiatives prompted by religious world views (in great part), also prompted by fear of loss of power and control of money, was itself engaged in.  I am posting some of it on this site.


    Civil rights, like legal rights, don’t just show up on the landscape and continue of their own accord, like a perpetual motion machine.  They were fought for to start with — any independence is — and need continued “fights” for their maintenance, even as I, as a musician often in charge of choirs, “fight” to maintain a certain standard of excellence (and progress towards it, or, if one level is achieved, progress towards the NEXT (higher, not lower), standard — as a lifestyle.








    Inherent in the processes  of growth is conflict and overcoming of gravity, need for nutrients, and conditions required for life.  Even physical human life requires assimilation, digestion, absorbtion, and excretion.  It requires water, and it requires activity.

    So does any good marriage or relationship.

    When a law system, or government, comes in and says “conflict is bad, only total peace is good,” for one, it is lying.  Governments PROSPER (and grow, oppressively so) the more conflict and chaos exist, because it is human tendency to delegate out authority & responsibility when stressed.  In other words, to hire shepherds, policemen, farmers, lifeguards — and doctors, gravediggers, and ambulances — to assume the problems of life.

    But, we need to be watchful, when government encourages us to hire out (1) thinking and (2) the education of our (respective, not “communal”) young.  These skills and life activities, like others, will go stagnant — and the populace become passive, fleeceable sheep — when un-used.  Few things that have kept me sharper in life (other than learning to survive abuse) than working for years with children who challenged authority, including existing educational theory (read “limitations”) on how children learn, or what they can do.  Poverty also is a teacher, up to a certain point, to value one’s time and bottom line.   In music these were not typically age-sorted, or easily intimidated.  When I began, I was not much older than, and certainly not stronger or taller than, the teenagers I was working with (or faster than the little ones).  Obviously, we had to work things out.  And not in a manner that regimented & squelched the energy level, which making music requires.

    No Conflict?  There are many situations in life in which “peace” exists, at least temporarily.  One of them is tyranny.  One of them is death.  Another is stagnation – there is little conflict or dialogue because nothing of substance is being done; routines are settled, status is “quo,” and flab of some sort is being accumulated.  This may not be the best for intimacy, or the sex life, FYI.  Like TiDES, ALL of life has some ebb and flow.

    For an institution to come in and label the degree of conflict a marriage can have (while ignoring when blows have already been delivered) is an insult.  The thing is, to strive “lawfully” to work it out.  When the mediators and evaluators are themselves conflicted over the existing laws, their usefulness is dubious.  Whatever the intent, the EFFECT is to further reframe and confuse a situation, not DE-fuse it.

    As usual, this post covers several topics, but related to the post title.  I have an integrative, symbolic mind, and enjoy viewing common topics in a less common light.  Turning ideas – not just physical objects — upside down, or inside out in this manner, can show what makes them tick, or lets the reflect diffferent light — particularly puzzling topics like, why when a young mother reports that her husband threatened to dismember her, and flees to the otherside of the world, “POLICY” brings her back to be dragged out of a car and murdered by this same person.  

    The role of the police, in their capacity to protect, was to give her a “panic” alarm, not a self-defense class or even a knife, pepper spray, or Taser (stun-gun).  WHY?  Because a woman defending herself in this society is an anomaly — and would upset the status quo of who women ARE.

    This thinking habit may relate to my music background (which is the language of expression, itself a symbol for emotion, carried in  visual symbols translated into real human b ehavior).  It may be due to the multiple perspective changes that a home not being a safe place, or a (religious) sanctuary, actual sanctuary, or having had family flip viewpoints on me for the smallest acts of independence after abuse.  I don’t really know why, but it does make life more interesting. 

    That that woman died, needlessly, was a top-down, institutional factor of failure to respect her boundary or give her permission to FIGHT BACK AND, IF NECESSARY, WIN!

    If women were taught to actually defend themselves from their partners, physically, society at large would probably descend into chaos.  Well, it already IS there, but this would give it at leat a different flavor. Don’t worry — I do not think this is about to happen.  

    Think about it — how many industries are based on and sustained by the fact that women do not have equal rights, “unalienable” or otherwise?   The existence of  “Fatherhood” resolutions being passed by both houses of the U.S. Congress testifies to the fact that some are running scared.  But consider:  would it not improve sexual excitement overall, as rather than seeking more and more younger and younger partners, men would have an in-home challenge, knowing that this act was not a power play, but an communion thing.  IS quantity really better than quality?  I don’t think so.   In other fields (food, music, art), discretion and quality should prevail  AND then these non-co-dependent partners in relationship and lifell could then go about separated lives as well, exist as individuals, and not as functions in life, and a gender caricature in their communities, too.  They would cover each other’s back, rather than one constantly putting the other one on (hers), and not just for sex.  Vive la difference, avec dynamic balance – individual, and as to gender only.  Fluidity and grace/strength.  Not one blustering male and one overworked passive female — OR vice versa.


    I don’t know where it would go from there, but I STILL think self-defense training (before marriage?) is a good idea that hasn’t been tried yet.  

    As verbal many times precedes physical, we’d have to also take a stand on demeaning, derogatory talk.   I believe this would also elevate men, as well, from beyond their figurative role, to actually interacting with their partner as the full-scale human beings they are.  One person who agrees with me has actually been honored by the “fatherhood community,” and that’s (Rabbi) Schmuley Boteach, whose book “Hating Women” (the title is misleading), I read, and approve of.  He is the one that said, women with out men can and do live clean and orderly lives, with no dead bodies around at the end off the day, but there is excitement in the relationship.

    The same would go for LGBT relationships — the domination paradigm would need to GO!  As men and women no longer existed as caricatures of how “male” and “female” really show up in human beings, I suspect that the need to rebel against that also might.   The entire pornography industry would likely take a hit, as there is absolutely that sex + violence (as a combo) does have an audience, avid consumers.  And possibly, young men might stop showing up in schools with guns to get attention.

    THAT stance would probably require dismantling not the educational system, but just the compulsory, mind-numbing, child-leaving-behind government sponsored and funded one as well as not a few religious institutions.

    When an entire system is based on threat — of withdrawing funding, of police hunting down if a someone fails to attend (but it STILL fails in cases of foster children, and others, as we have already seen, and it CONSISTENTLY underperforms other, existing systems based on the free-market system, some of which can also be done by poorer families) —  it is itself disrespectful, personally insulting, and a violation of boundaries, and those who prosper in that system are going to breathe in and exhale the same negative attitudes.  I say this after decades of perspectives on this at all levels, and am not alone in this statement.  

    In fact, in viewing the womb-to-tomb institutions of my country, the teacher/student, expert/plebian, priest/proselyte, guard/prisoner, controller/controlled viewpoint is VERY common.  This is not obscured by the fact that great and inspired people exist in many of the middle layers.  The bottom layers are being squished and punished, usually arbitrarily, and have been squirting back in rebellious forms in direct proportion to their need to recover a sense of humanity, dignity, and to have their voices be HEARD.  

    And the less noble among the men, take this out on the women closest to them, punishing and killing as they too were punished and felt something important in themselves killed.  Sometimes, and unfortunately, the women too, take this out on the children.  How can that sense be transformed into something better, eh?

    Why are the arts historically the LEAST valued aspects of our public school system, when in fact they are closest to the most important, along with sports, debate, and mastery of foreign languages?  The medium of this large mess is the MESS-age.  It’s too large, too bulky, and too inefficient, and too impersonal.  Then people wonder why the prisons are crowded.

    ANYHOW, I have often in hindsight thought back as to what would happen if we were taught to do fight back, and that at times it’s good to break some rules.  Not in the girl-gang manner, but individually.  

    When I taught people to sing, together, in ensembles:

    As a teacher, and whose job used to be helping groups of diverse ability sing complex and scintillating music, which ALWAYS included skill-building and endeavoring to communicate the vision of how it would sound, and the enjoyment of their personal voices and their personal voices in balance with each other (and what the music required, to come to life) — it was VERY helpful to simply teach the difference between right & wrong, or Good and Better, in specific situations.  This is NOT so hard as it sounds, when participants are a little willing (which, FYI, is KEY).  MOST kids like a challenge, within range, and in general many adults don’t have the free-flowing physical energy after work to do this — BUT THEY CAN, AND MANY TIMES DO.  No matter the size of the group, I would seek to show and offer individuals for examples, and let those examples then also, themselves, practice feedback, leading, and commentary so that we all would understand what the principles were (this, moreso with children then with adults).

    Once the difference between “Good” and “Better” has been taught and recognized, it is only necessary to consistently remind people, if they do not recognize, which way Better is in, and movc on to another skill.  IT is the consistency which gives them and me feedback, and keeps us on track towards excellence, which is the goal.  YES, it’s interactive and dynamic, but once the direction is positive, and understood, the hope of getting and the joy of the process, picks up momentum.  

    You cannot have a successful singing group if they are never told the difference between off-key and on, or better and best.

    In every singing group, there are more and less highly motivated people.  The thing is, the overall concensus, and whether the conductor can live with the level involved (i.e., his/her musical conscience), and to the singers, whether they can live with the concept that singing does entail expenditure of physical and mental energy, and will they engage in the process, and also continue to enjoy it.  Any conductor knows that permanent plateau doesn’t exist — no growth = erosion.  That’s how the human psyche works.  Boredom = sloppiness increases.  

    Now think about abuse — does this person want to learn?

    YES we adjust for times of tiredness, or illness, but the overall thing is continuing to keep the standards improving; MOST PEOPLE like to do well.  If I find a choir is in a status quo mode, a social group only, and there is no potential or interest for much more, I do not stick around for long.  Typically, this is rare, as choirs tend to be volunteer situations.  I am amazed at how well a smaller unit of nonprofessionals can do, with time, and some love and positive direction.


    When I filed a domestic violence restraining order

    The question of INTENT to abuse had already been established, and the thing was to establish a boundary, now, limits.

    Now that I had experienced a little life with a little more boundary, there was extensive cleanup and repair to be done in all categories.  The immense energy from having the threat of immediate physical harm at unpredictable times REMOVED, allowed me to have a joy and concentration in my work that was sporadic and rare previously.  Even before we were completely on the road, healed, restored, there was  such an exhilaration in the sense that I could GET there.  The person who had viciously and intentionally been sabotaging my work and endeavors, in front of our kids, was out of the house.  I remember at one time regretting that he could not share the sense of peace — until I remembered why it wasn’t there when he was!  


    It was possible to actually reap rewards from initiative/effort that were more commensurate with the effort.  But I needed boundaries respected, and it took time to start to develop the vigilant patrolling of them, which no abuser likes.

    The Family Law Venue — and in cases (as mine) where biological family ALSO failed to report and stop the violence — tends to then defines success in such cases in terms of ability to moderate and get along peacefully with someone who had formerly been beating the crap out of one parent, or threatening to do so.  This breaks down her boundaries, making it harder for her to sustain work, and repair momentum.

    A woman who has successfully experienced the difference between in-home violence (and all that goes with it), and NO in-home violence, who has been interrogated and derided, etc. for eyars — and NOT having to be pulled out of a sound sleep for this, or stopped leaving the home  for work for this, and whose pets, and personal property is not being broken and hurt to make a point — will NOT readily go for more of it from another source.  

    She might come off as somewhat “thorny.”  This is because there is work to do!

     She may not waste as much time explaining to the next few people who wish to violate her boundaries, and interrupt her work, or taking care of her children, that this is inappropriate.  I didn’t.  When my family came after me (having failed to label the DV to start with) and began “advising,” I did not waste AS MUCH (though still TOO MUCH) time saying, “Get a life.  I have one already.”  

    The struggle moved to the only times and means available this man had to then sabotage, interrupt, and harass me with – my relatives, exchanges with my children, any point in the custody/visitation order which lacked clarity (and ours was POORLY written, in violation of standards I later learned the mediator was responsible to know and address), and so forth.  I was advised to GIVE him joint legal custody by the family violence law center, and on an irrational basis.  I did so, and this was a huge chink in the door, larger even than the poorly written custody order.  

    An abuser has failed to learn some very basic lessons in life, and unless there is some strict accountability, the lesson will not be learned.




    I have heard of similar, but not so violent, methods being used in training a dog.

    In order to “TEACH” the abuser that boundary violations and attempts to revert to the former “ordering” her around behavior is unacceptable, SHE NEEDS to protect the boundaries, and have some means to say NO! available when they are violated.

    There should be a consequence for domestic violence, and that is simple.

    No contact, for a significant time, with minor children until the father (or mother) has figured out that this was an unacceptable role model, example, and way of interacting with other people, including little ones.  


    Jack Straton, Ph.D., (NOMAS) Said it Straight in 1992, 2 years before

    • The 1994 passage of the Violence Against Women Acts (“VAWA”)
    • The 1994 formation of the National Fatherhood Initiative (“NFI”)

    First of all, who IS the guy?  Well, I didn’t know this til recently, but among other things, hover cursor over the link for a short description — he has worked in two different fields, Photography & Physics.  


    He co-authored with “Linda George” the following article, which makes a lot of sense to me:

    Approaching Critical Thinking Through Science


    In that it talks about Viewpoints (natural, in a photographer, one would think), Process, Values, Perspectives, including this segment:

     ((Please note:  The PROCESS is explained in the article))

    How Do Scientists Make Truth Claims?

    Before beginning to work with issues in science, we find it useful to discuss what science is and is not. As a starting point, Steven Lower’s computer-aided activity “Science, Non-science and Pseudoscience” (1998) provides some good working definitions of the terms hypothesis, theory, and scientific fact. In addition, the interactive program guides students through issues that attempt to frame the domain of science: what kinds of questions science can and cannot address, what kinds of practices distinguish science from other types of knowledge, and so on.

     OR. . . . 

    Knowledge and Uncertainty

    Students tend to have polar views on the nature of scientific knowledge. On the one hand, there is a sense that knowledge that has been derived scientifically is “factual” and is closer to “Truth” than other ways of knowing; on the other hand, once students have been exposed to the notion that knowledge is mediated by one’s perspective (Tompkins, 1986), this is often misunderstood to mean that there is no “real” knowledge since “everything is biased.” [End Page 113] These epistemological issues are ones that scientists tend to ignore, but we bring them into the course because they connect directly to issues of diversity and multiculturalism. For example, students read essays about scientists who are not white or male and discover that, throughout the history of science, the fact that science is done by human beings who have socially constructed “perspectives” has a significant influence on what kinds of science get done and what kinds of conclusions are arrived at.

    We unpack the subject of “knowability” by exploring wave-particle duality in the quantum world. We first demonstrate “conclusively” that light is made of waves and then provide “proof-positive” that light is made of particles. We next show photographic evidence that matter, too, has both particle- and wave-like properties, so that wavicle might be a better descriptor. Next, we discuss the social controversy over welfare and take students through a parallel series of steps that reveal a paradox like the wavicle: the rich are often in favor of cutting welfare, but if welfare is cut, starving people will turn to crime or revolution, neither of which is in the interests of the rich. The ultimate lesson is that if we get stuck on any particular perspective in science or society, we are likely to be missing much of what we can know.

     OR. . . . 

    Science in Society

    One unfortunate development in our educational system is that science usually is thought of and taught as a discipline different from every other. The result is that science does not usually appear in “nonscience” courses. 

    Someone who can talk sense in one category, can often talk sense in another.  
    Common sense says there might be more than one perspective in life on a problem.  
    Now, that 1999 Resolution of Congress (2 posts ago) is not drenched with common SENSE, 
    just common ASSERTIONS.  
    As such, I claim that MY assertion that IT constitutes a prophetic utterance, and 
    attempt to establish a religion. I observe that its assortment of facts in support of a theory
    came from its own hired experts that already believe such theory, and many of them, on the basis
    of a commonly-held religion that has been wont (see "Genesis 3") to blame women when held to task
    for its own failures (a.k.a. disobediences).

    Anyhow, here is what Jack wrote in 1992 as to:


    What is Fair for Children of Abusive Men?

    Journal of the Task Group on Child Custody Issues 

    of the National Organization for Men Against Sexism 

    Volume 5, Number 1, Spring1993 (Fourth Edition, 2001) 

    C/o University Studies, Portland State University, Portland, OR, 97207-0751 

    503-725-5844, 503-725-5977 (FAX), straton@pdx.edu 


    What About the Kids? 

    Custody and Visitation Decisions in Families with a History of Violence 

    National Training Project of the Duluth Domestic Abuse Project 

    Thursday, October 8, 1992, Duluth, Minnesota 

    This is 9 pages only, and has 59 detailed cites.  I recommend reading it ALL.  However, here is the conclusion:










    Let me sum up what I have shared 

    with you.  I have criticized the “Best 

    interests of the child” criterion as 

    being so vague that it requires us to 

    rely upon the opinions of adults as 

    to what “best interest” means.  And 

    the norms behind these opinions 

    are seldom acknowledged, and thus 

    not refutable.

    I then showed that 

    courts who apply this criterion have 

    disregarded the severe effects of 

    domestic violence on children, even 

    to the extent of saying that killing a 

    child’s mother is not a sufficiently 

    depraved act so as to deny a man 

    custody.  If it is possible for a cus- 

    todial criterion to allow such twisted 

    result to result from a jurists value 

    system, that criterion itself is se- 

    verely flawed. 

    We then looked at the flaws inher- 

    ent in presuming joint custody to 

    be in children’s best interests.  I 

    then described the primary care- 

    taker criterion and showed that for 

    violent families it will almost auto- 

    matically remove a child from 

    harm’s wayorder. 

    We found that children who wit- 

    ness wife beating have difficulty in 

    school and are much more prone to 

    juvenile delinquency and, ulti- 

    mately, violent crime than children 

    from non-abusive families. 

















    have poor relationships with peers 

    and siblings, learn to despise their 

    mother for her abuse, and learn to 

    emulate their father in his expres- 

    sions of aggression. 

    We found that the longer the abuse 

    witnessed, the more severe the re- 

    sultant disorder. 


    A decade-long study between Kaiser and the CDC (Center for Disease Control)

    on the topic of, initially, OBESITY, concurs.

    It too, has largely been ignored in family law circles,

    which prefer their own experts.  

    Yet no feminists, anti-violence people, or father’s rights groups

    initiated this study.  Two (male) doctors did, in the context of an obesity clinic.

    {{“The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study: “Bridging the Gap between Childhood Trauma

    and negative consequences later in life” 

    What is the ACE Study? (please hover cursor, for more detail)

    The ACE Study is an ongoing collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and 
    Prevention and Kaiser Permanente.  Led by Co-principal Investigators Robert F. Anda, MD, 
    MS, and Vincent J. Felitti, MD, the ACE Study is perhaps the largest scientific research study 
    of its kind, analyzing the relationship between multiple categories of childhood trauma 
    (ACEs), and health and behavioral outcomes later in lif

    How much trauma, substance addiction (driving an escalating prison population in the US),

    disease and eventual “leading causes of death” might have been avoided,

    had someone listened more to “Dr. Jack” (below)

    than “Dr. Phil” (TV personality) when it comes to Custody After Abuse?


    Given that assaults 

    on women actually increase after 

    separation and divorce, we would 

    expect that children have more trau- 

    mas associated with this phase.  I 

    was able to find only one rational 

    conclusion from this cascade of phe- 

    nomena; that a cessation of contact 

    with the abuser is the only way to 

    minimize demonstrable and fore- 

    seeable harm to these children. 

    How can we 

    face future generations of our kind (FYI — that’s HUMANITY)

    and say that we knew about the 

    abuse and did nothing to help? 


    with me; take your place at the front 

    of our march toward freedom; let it 

    never be said that our generation 

    was too afraid of male violence to 

    stand up for the lives and hearts of 



    • Written by a Photographer (skillset — observing, choosing subject matter, different light, framing, focus, development (pre-digital), exposure, and all sorts of variables are required for a BFA in this field).  
    • Written by a Ph.D. Physicist who teaches.  Skillsets — knowing and communicating concepts and process to a variety of students.  (I also recommend reading the first link– it’s interesting!).

    The scientifically-inclined mind will question why such reasoning is absent in Family Law arenas, and WHY.  

    Only taking out a personal mirror, and examining one’s own preconceptions about others’ viewpoints, will a rational explanation be found as to WHY?   this paradigm will not rule.

    I have a link on the blogroll showing what it takes to become a Certified Family Law Specialist in ONE of the 50 United States.  Even a cursory reading of this shows that the focus is NOT on safety for one of a couple (Domestic Violence) or protecting children from abuse (Child Abuse), physical or sexual, but on other fields.  No matter how frequently such specialists and their associated professionals convene and publish to “explicate” domestic violence in the context of divorce, the fact is that such violence, once it occurs IS the prevailing context of that divorce, and has to be handled.  

    As such, mediation (at least as practiced in court venues, and as this tool is used), is NOT advisable where violence has already occurred.  Undeterred, these associations, of which “AFCC” is primary, push, publish, and promote mediation as THE standard, and the parent who (for safety, for boundaries) who refuses, as uncooperative.  

    That is, I believe, why this field of family law exists.  I have believed this for a long time, and this is why I am not interested in attempts from bottom up to “reform” the field.  It exists to “reform” (reduce, dilute, and eliminate) certain rights that laws that exist to protect women from being battered in a relationship, and their children from witnessing it by virtue of simply being around it.

    Jack’s recommendation, and those laws, settle the question.  Continuing to ask the same questions that were already answered (“Prop 8” In California comes to mind) reveals an intent to undermine those laws.  Don’t be silent, and don’t assume the experts have it all under control.  Stay home from something and read up.  Don’t go just to newspaper to find out about the fiscal budget — go to governmental websites.  MUCH of this information is already on-line.  More of it is available (USA) under the FOIA (freedom of Information Act).  


    Thank you.

    A Toxic Mixture – Survival Instinct diluted by Submission to Custody Orders (UK/Australia)

    with one comment

    Cassandra Hasonovic...convinced she was going to die at the hands of her husband.          

    Cassandra Hasonovic…convinced she was going to die at the hands of her husband.




    I pause from mocking  the “Fatherhood” resolutions of the US Congress to demonstrate that while they are laughable in premises, these resolutions are no laughing matter; to demonstrate again that  men in positions of power worshipping abstract theories/myths/idols (or their images of themselves as a class) can put a woman face down dead and bloody on a slab of concrete, and just  did.  Again.

    Another myth is that deadly consequences like this will cause  deter the same men in power (I’m talking governmental representatives) from initiating, more, similar, and more costly mythology at a governmental level from continuing along the same path, gaining momentum and funding as they go:

    What Policy Makers are Saying

    NFI asked some** of our nation’s elected leaders about their views on the future of fatherhood in public policy.

    (**more specificaly, The National Fatherhood Instititute (ca. 1994) chose to interview select policy makers who just happened also to be members of the “National Fatherhood Initiative’s Senate Task Force on Responsible Fatherhood” (origins at least pre-1998) what they thought of Fatherhood.  Calling this “policymakers” is both true — they are PUSHing this policy through — and deceptive, as though it was representative of the entire Congress, prior to being pushed by these folks on this initiative.  At least I HOPE there are some in Congress still that can see that this is costing women’s lives, and children’s in the long run….)  Perhaps these fathers are upstanding in their own marriages and have a family life to be envied (although it could hardly be called a representative lifestyle, being a Congressperson).  

    What about the carte blanche, the clear endorsement such proclamations are giving men at the bottom of the economic spectrum, or of the behavioral spectrum, who may already have a chip on their shoulders and be looking for an excuse to dominate another woman?

    We already have religions that do this.  There are already honor killings, beheadings, in our country (USA).  There are already family wipeouts in this country.  There are horrific practices upon women in certain countries, still — stonings, genital circumcison, retaliation for attending school, rapes as a form of warfare, or when leaving a refugee camp to seek firewood.  I am sorry to say this, but do we REALLY need a Congress of primarily (but not only) white men to say, with other (primarily) men of other color, and a woman or two, that it’s time to go back and reclaim your biological property, eradicate single motherhood that happened because a woman chose to leave abuse, or, you failed to use a condom or proper protection?   

    I would love to see a survey of every Congressperson, and see which marriage they are on, and how faithful they have been to their wives or, as it may be, husbands.  If women, I would like to see how their grown children are behaving in THEIR marriages.  When they divorce, do they pay child support?  Do they engage in bankrupting and badmouthing a former partner?

    To me, this is nothing less than Congress choosing to violate the First Amendment, in the U.S.  It is the establishment of a state religion. How it relates to other continents and cultures?  Similar doctrines, similar family law theories and practice.  

    Here is what some policymakers** are saying:

    Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN)

    “The American family is the foundation of our society, and we must do all we can to help fathers do the right thing for their children. Today, too many men leave mothers to bear the brunt of being both mom and dad**, forcing them to face the challenges of raising a child and providing for the family on their own. I know President Obama shares my commitment to helping fathers become the best dads they can be; we worked together on these initiatives in the Senate. With the new administration on our side, we can make healthy families and responsible fatherhood a priority together.”

    – Senator Evan Bayh*** (D-IN); co-chair of National Fatherhood Initiative’s Senate Task Force on Responsible Fatherhood


    **Hypocrite!! The entire thrust of this movement (pun intended), as far as I can see in hindsight, was to prevent women from throwing abusive men (not ALL men) out on their asses for their abuse.  The premise behind it, and the practices, and some of the groups, show the reality — allegations of domestic violence and child abuse are false, mostly, and highly exaggerated.  Women do not have a right to leave with their children, and so must be re-programmed how to get along with fathers.  The organizations funded, and subsidized (federally / state/ local) then go into prisons and other places where substantially suspect fathers may be found, and — in order to reduce the welfare tax load, and by reducing child support arrears in exchange for more contact with their kids, thereby burden the rest of society with the results.    The  NFI (this initiative) almost exactly coincides with the VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) and was heavily funded from the start.

    Did I know this before working closely a few years with the local child support agency and finding out how “opaque” they truly were?  No.  Not til I started actually reading the programs, and comparing the programs with the rhetoric.

    ***Of note:  Senator Bayh’s personal acquaintance with fatherhood includes having a father who was a U.S. Senator

    From the time he was about 8 through majority, his Dad was a Senator.  

    Evan Bayh graduated with honors in business, economics and public policy from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business in 1978, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi, and received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the University of Virginia in 1981. After clerking for a federal court judge and entering private law practice in Indianapolis, he was elected Indiana’s Secretary of State in 1986.

    Bayh was elected Governor of Indiana in 1988 and re-elected in 1992 with the highest percentage of the vote in a statewide election in modern Indiana history

    While this stellar college performance and work history is commendable, I do not think it provides an experiential understanding of the situations that lower-income brackets face in their families.  I think that a little failure would have perhaps been helpful (Lincoln had some, right?) along the way, perhaps. 

    As Such, What THESE Policy Makers are Saying. . . 

    . . . is kind of like the Foxes quoting other Foxes (from the Fox Initiative) on how “difficult’ the Hens must find life without a resident Fox in the house.   I am not referring to all men — I personally like men, and am heterosexual, and don’t think they all think like this.  At least, I know at least one or two who do not, and hope to find more, as they are good company.  



    Here’s the summary, and the story is below:

    Despite History and Threats of Further Domestic Violence, British Wife Who Fled to Australia Seeking Safety is Ordered to Return Children to England for Custody Determination

    (NOTE:  This is why I like Jack Straton’s article on Custody Rights to Men Who Batter).

    Posted by Janet Langjahr. Filed under Domestic Violence & AbuseChild Custody,Hague Convention Kidnapping International Child Custody.
    • Husband is convicted of sexually assaulting Wife.
    • Wife is terrified that Husband will kill her.
    • Husband allegedly threatens to dismember her.
    • Wife flees to Australia with their two Children.
    • But the Australian courts rule that England has child custody jurisdiction under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
    • Wife returns to England with Children.
    • Police are summoned to intervene in domestic clashes several times.
    • Police give Wife a “panic alarm”. {{SHE’s ALREADY Panicked & Alarmed?  How about Pepper Spray?  A self-defense course?  A “right to carry?” (I guess UK doesn’t do that).  Or a KNIFE , and training in how to use it?– he killed her with a knife…}}{{So much for “panic alarms.”  Oh, she was just exaggerating, the police will protect her.  TELL ME — has practice changed since THIS murder?}}
    • About a year after Wife’s return, Husband allegedly drags her from a car and stabs her to death … in front of her own mother and their Children.
    • Just a few hours after she begged British police for protection.
    • While she was in the midst of trying to flee from Husband again.
    • Husband is convicted of murder.
    • He will serve at least eighteen years in confinement.
    • (I add:  Her sons will serve a lifetime, with this memory, plus their grandmother, plus all acquaintances.)

    Read more in this Brisbane [Australia] Times article: Young mother fled to Sydney to save her life.


    THEY WERE Speculation.  That’s a Risky Business, and I feel that the indicators that this is straight mythology, at some level.  This type of decision is driven by “fatherhood” as an ideal, and premises that a man without his children is a man without an identity, as is a woman telling the truth — this is a dangerous situation.  A man’s rights, even if he’s already been proven criminal, are more important than a woman’s rights — to self-defense by fleeing.  A mother’s words are less valid than a father’s.  Women as a class are to obey.  Men as a class, if forced to subject themselves to the same laws, are prone to killing for the humiliation, and yet still, the NEXT set of women (with kids) are also told, they must obey or go to jail.

    In the last post (U.S. Congress Resolution of 1999, a National Fathers Return Day) it was said that “mother-headed-households” fare worse, as a class.  Whether or not the data was true, THIS is partly why, and was not reported.  Because they are taking heat already for being single.  Perhaps a second husband (Women, would YOU remarry quickly after her experience? Men, would YOU marry a woman with kids who was in the process of fleeing her first one?  Unless this answer is YES, and some man is brave enough to step in the gap (and being armed, probably), that is going to be a mother-headed household.  Put this in your pipe and smoke it when you read the NEXT proclamation I post, US House of Reps, saying the same thing, and voting unanimously as to its truth.  Yeah, well, some truths are created, others are self-evident without that extra self-propagating “creation” of a risky, dangerous situation, that of being a single mother when the climate is globally cooling towards permission of this state of affairs.  And in ONE country from which some of the laws in the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave. 

    That’s ridiculous.  I am so at a loss for words, I would like to quote some scripture here, but I’m talking about Family Law, if you will bear with me:

    (Bible:  Eccles. 3, ERV)

    This, from the same guy that said, “Vanity, vanity, all is vanity…, and the same one who, one time, when judging between two women who argued over one baby, after one had just been rolled over and smothered to death, was able to discern by a simple test – and his test, though with a sword, has some resemblances to the co-parenting, 50/50 talk of today. The woman who did NOT want her kid chopped in half (this time, physically) was the true one.  Nowadays, this dude (who went down the tube, eventually, the record states) ain’t around, or anyone with close to the amount of discernment shown below:

    1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

    2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;  {{like a dangerous marriage…}}

    3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down{{ibid}}, and a time to build up;

    4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

    5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

    6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

    7.  a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

    {{This woman saw fit to “rend” her marriage.  She was not permitted to.  Why??}}

    8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

    Human sacrifice has ALWAYS been the trademark of religion.  Some faiths would say, a false religion.  True adherents of any religion are typically willing to kill others, not just themselves, for its sake.

    It is right to hate placing onesself and one’s offspring (and others) in the path of danger.  That’s a “time to hate.”  Not people, but the situation.  Sacrificing others may come easily, but sacrificing one’s own offspring is NOT a natural act.  Forcing someone to do this is to do violence against her integrity, and one of the primary functions of “MOTHERHOOD” in the name of  “FATHERS HAVE RIGHTS TOO!”  – — yes they do, but this one, in particular, should not have.  You will say, but what about due process?

    What about due haste when life is at risk?

    Young Mother Fled to Sydney to Save Her Life.  UK forces her back, where she is stabbed to death in front of her two boys, and mother, by the man she fled.
    Paola Totaro Herald Correspondent in London

    Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

    May 2, 2009


    CASSANDRA HASANOVIC was convinced she was going to die at the hands of her husband but her pleas for help – in Australia and Britain – fell on deaf ears.

    He said he was going to chop me up in little pieces and post me piece by piece to my family,” she told police more than a year before her death.

    The nightmare tale of the mother, 24, who was dragged out of a car and stabbed to death by her husband in front of her mother and two young sons in July, neared its climax in a British court yesterday.

    Mrs Hasanovic died hours after begging British police to drive her to a safe house: “I live in fear for my safety. I am so scared of him.”


    Her story was recounted this week during the trial of Hajrudin Hasanovic, 33, who was last night found guilty of murder and sentenced to a minimum of 18 years in jail.

    The jury learned how he was to have been deported to his native Serbia after losing custody of his children, following his conviction for sexually assaulting his wife.

    They heard a damning story of a woman whose fears were ignored by authorities in two hemispheres for more than 12 months.

    The five-year marriage ended in May 2007 after the sexual assault and Mrs Hasanovic fled to Australia, where she had relatives. She lived in the safety of Sydney’s western suburbs in the fervent hope of seeking custody of her sons.

    But Lewes Crown Court, in West Sussex, heard that Australian authorities insisted she return to Britain, arguing the case had to be pursued there.

    Philippa McAtasney, QC, who opened the case for the prosecution, told the court that she returned to Britain at the cost of her life.

    In the months that followed her return, police were called to several violent confrontations between the couple, and officers equipped the young mother with a panic alarm.

    {{Why didn’t they arrest and incarcerate the attacker?? ???   ????  She was already panicked and had already sounded the alarm, by fleeing the continent — but was not heard…..}}

    Mrs Hasanovic’s mother, Sharon De Souza, broke down as she described the terror inside the car on July 29, when her son-in-law appeared from nowhere and lunged at the car as she prepared to drive her daughter and grandsons to a refuge.


    In the panic, the car’s central locking was de-activated, allowing Hasanovic to reach into the back seat, where his wife was sitting between the boys.

    “I just remember trying to start the car and the alarm went off and I could not get the car started … I could see a figure coming towards me in the shade …” Mrs De Souza said.

    “I looked up again and he was staring towards me. … I just thought: ‘Oh, my God.”‘

    She then saw Hasanovic drag her daughter from the car, leaving her face down on the pavement.

    “She was lying on the ground. Her eyes were open and she was not moving at all.

    “I didn’t realise she was dead. I said: ‘Come on, hold on, you’re going to be OK.’ I could see the blood [but] I could not take it in and I remember hearing the boys screaming.”

    “Cassie was devastated when under the Hague convention she was ordered to return the boys to England,” Mrs De Souza said.

    “This brutal, cruel and senseless act has torn our lives apart”.



    I hope, pray, blog, and ask people who are in “intact” marriages (not marked by violence, or even bitter divorce) to wake up and participate, not in indignation that women are indignant, or fleeing, but in studying WHAT your governments are doing (worldwide) and the NGOs that are running the place.  Thank you.  Take time off from barbecuing, or soccer teams for a month, or a season.  I’m talking to what remains of “middle class” people, who perhaps are employed and housed, and panicked about losing work or housing.  How does that compare with women like this one, above?  Your governments, at least I can speak for mine, ARE wasting money and time in policies that kill.

    More Sardonic Commentary

    Meanwhile, in family courts around the world, women (and some men) are told that expressing outrage at indignation and crime is itself a crime, and should be punished by paying for “parenting classes” until they (as adults) realize that the police, the judge, the psychologist, the evaluator, the Guardian at Litem, the Child Protective Services worker, the District Attorney, the Mediators, the educators, and the government know more ab out their own lives, and what’s best for them, than they themselves do.  

    This is called the Artificial Womb.

    (GOOD GRIEF — I just Googled that term, and found this:

    Why Not Artificial Wombs? 

    Christine Rosen

    In 1924, the British scientist {{PROBABLY MALE!!}} J. B. S. Haldane coined the term “ectogenesis” to describe how human pregnancy would one day give way to artificial wombs. “It was in 1951 that Dupont and Schwarz produced the first ectogenic child,” Haldane wrote, imagining how an earnest college student of the future would describe the phenomenon. “Now that the technique is fully developed, we can take an ovary from a woman, and keep it growing in a suitable fluid for as long as twenty years, producing a fresh ovum each month, of which 90 percent can be fertilized, and the embryos grown successfully for nine months, and then brought out into the air.”

    I mean this METAPHORICALLY, and I guess now have another post….THIS one is about how worshipping fatherhood has cost real mothers their lives.  I had not realized (yet) how long ago it entered into men’s imagination to eliminate pregnancy and childbirth, which I suppose interrupts for nine months some of their other wished-for biological functions, that is in men not mature enough to understand what the whole wonder, relationship, and process is actually about.   I predict, that if this becomes successful — that motherhood as a relationship reality is eradicated, AND as a biological one — that the entirety of the human race will become so theoretically smart, and practially stupid, that we (so to speak — count me out!) will destroy ALL of each other, sooner, rather than later.  Which of course, some of the human race is currently engaged in, and at least two world religions I am aware of predict.  That’s probably less “myth” than an accurate reading of human nature, which this “fatherhood” stuff is not.  It’s an “ism” not a reality.  The REALITY is that men and women vary in behaviors, beliefs, attitudes, and levels of responsibility to which they have risen.


    Good “parenting” teaches one’s children’ how to recognize danger (and when to flee it), that it’s OK to express indignation and anger in order to protect personal boundaries (i.e., send a warning message to whoever is violating them), and if necessary after that, fight back.

    Parenting classes, as I understand them, exist to prevent fathers and mothers from doing this, and to create a numbed down (or, bipolar) set of behaviors — one for the teachers, and one when the teachers are not watching.  This is a recipe for destruction.

    Men around the world are whining, publically and in on-line groups, and promoting studies, that women are just as violent and dangerous as they are.  Well, if that WERE so, it appears to me that nonviolent self-preservation techniques (like FLIGHT) aren’t working, so what shall we then do?
    Where are all the men killed by angry ex-wives?  They aren’t there because our cultures (exception:  TV media, popular films), and primary institutions coach women to be passive and submissive — or they will be punished.  We are told to obey rules, and we do. 

    Perhaps it would be better if it was understood that it IS dangerous to confront a woman physically.  Perhaps this might be a deterrent.  If men are going to reject, as partners, women who stand up to them, then let them propagate with the passive ones, and perhaps — just perhaps, some of the non-passive surviving women may be a role model, should this get to the point of violence.

    The last time I had personal contact with a woman who lost a child to a man she’d divorced who had already been convicted of molesting her other child, was only yesterday.   This is distressing.  As is typical, she has to pay for supervised visitation to see the pre-adolescent son that was removed from her custody for reporting child abuse.  

    It’s also an unfair choice to any woman –become a criminal and fugitive, or risk your life,

    and your children’s lives and sense of sanity and safety in this world, til they mature.





    If Obama had been born after Promoting Responsible Fatherhood…

    leave a comment »

    (TYPICAL of what Promoting Responsible Fatherhood  can do to already Responsible Mothers. . . . )

    (after switching custody, without due process, in order to achieve this out-come based, presidentially-desired population profile:)

    MOST responsible mothers will test and attempt to find justice in the family law system, not always knowing that the case was decided from a Top-Down federal initiative, and that while they may NOT get competent free legal help in family courts (as they did in obtaining, perhaps an initial restraining order), many fathers, deserving and undeserving // incarcerated or free // low-income OR high-income too — may have been receiving referrals, coaching, and pro bono legal advice, or forms preparation, to oppose them before they hit the courtroom.  If this doesn’t work, then mediation will be forced, as it’s far easier to persuade a single mediator than actually compile the facts and evidence actually required, by law, to switch custody)….

    Where I was last week:

    For approximately a week I’ve been struggling with Internet down, and negotiating with service providers, etc.  Living hand to mouth, I received an unexpected gift of $60 which would repair a simple power cord. My used laptop, which itself was charity and took me 11 months (after my last employment) to get to (another adventure) has a power cord that, thankfully, was sold in a city a short commute away only. The round trip commute “only” cost $10 (which I didn’t have).  

    Coming to my local haunt to figure things out (brought by someone who is familiar with me by side of road and gave a lift again, saving $2.00 bus fare), there was another local Mom I know in similar situation (though her details varied) who gave me $20 and some paper goods (knowing that Food Stamps don’t buy these, FYI).  There is indeed a host of information not possible to personally understand unless you spend a long time marginalized.  I did not grow up marginalized, there was help getting me to this state (again).  

    For example, the importance of cash flow, and split-second timing sometimes.)  A little compassion — not to be often found in the larger institutions, where children are commodities, as is our prolonged distress, in fact it’s a business —   goes so far, is so fantastic!  I do not think people who haven’t been through a little hell (if there be such folk) can appreciate this.  

    Also today, inexplicably, $XX.cc of the $XXX.cc (of multiple $XX,XXX.cc’s total child support arrears) due each month appeared without warning on a little debit card connected to the great child support enforcement system that has (I have come ot learn) bargained away justice for MOms in support of Promoting Responsible Fatherhood.  FYI, grants show clearly that where our government LOOKS for some of these responsible fathers is in prisons and by communicating with parole officers, etc. 

    Now I have to decided whether that $xx.cc goes to (a) keeping home phone/internet on (b) a bus pass or (c) keeping, for safety reasons, a cell phone on.  SIt will pay ONLY one of the above.  This is the type of situation, I suppose, all those multiplce choice questions in elementary school (if you went public) prepared us for.  What do you think?  To me, safety seems paramount, which means cell phone.  But I’m hungry.  Thus, it’s most likely, however, that I will go have something to eat, and put a bit on the phone (paying twice as much per minute), which goes off at 3:30pm today, I’m told.  that $xx.cc amount WOULD pay for an entire month of unlimited cell use (one relief for sure!), however stomach counts, and so does the ability not to have to hitchhike, at my age, and with the amount of STUFF I bring along daily, including papers, laptop, and sometimes a change of clothes.   Can we say, “Infrastructure of the Individual?”  

    This is another thing that forays through one or, worse, more, of a federally-mandated, top-down, and guns-toting officers enforced policy with a few layers of administrative personnel as gatekeepers (between you and who’s funding it and why) is likely to dismantle:  INdividual Infrastructures.  If it’s stable, it’s a threat to the system, and something must be shifted around — take from Peter to prop up Paul, by way of Phillip, whose idea this was (actually SOME of the prime movers, not just enablers, in these systems, originating them, are women). 

    While I do that, here’s another self-report of a trip through the “Family” “Law” system, and how what appears to be a competent mother gets dumped on in order to satisfy the state-endorsed religion that “a kid without a father involved — ANY quality father” is like a fish out of water, not “a fish without a bicycle.”

    I also had a close call, this week, with Fathers’ Rights in the Making (generation 3?) by getting thrown out of a church I’d fled to, for some company, for — yes, you heard this — speaking up.  The problem was, my plumbing.  I was almost physically ejected after the 2nd minute.  Unbelievable, and this was in a home, not even a large formal setting.  I am entirely too curious about reporting from the front lines about groups of people who seem angry that women got the vote, laws were passed to restrict PUBLICALLY beating us, and so compensate by as much as possible publically humiliating intelligent ones who actually speak.  

    Silly folks, don’t they realize this is where feminists came from to start with?  They got pissed off, that’s all.  I’m beginning to think this at least.  The only people who actually think second class citizenship, or for that matter, abject poverty and slavery, are good ideas, are those profiting from it.  And for THAT, you will have to research who is getting the grant money to generate study after study justifying the kind of results you read about below here:  

    What I’m trying to say here is, my uneven reporting and prose is a direct factor of having to deal with the situation, while also attempting to report on it.  As a general principle, I’d say, if you probe deeply to any website which is EXTREMELY polished and professional, they probably haven’t gone through it themselves, only dealt with families who have.  The situation never seems to end, so we have to publish on the fly, kind of like some of the men who had the audacity to translate the Bible into the common language (whether German, English, or Spanish). Going up against the Spanish Inquisition takes courage, for sure.  The capacity of man to crucify man (and women, and children) never seems to end, and generally, it has to do with exposing some nonsense.  

    NEVER show up smarter than someone else who has control over your kids.  

    NOTE:  taking hostages is a characteristic of war.  Why is the US Government waging war on mothers?  (sorry folks, the statistics do NOT support it as a war on fathers, based on $$ allocated at Federal level).  Then again, there


    Her story is here.  The link above has a few more links also:

    If what happened to my kids had happened to young Barry Obama, he would have been stripped from the primary care of his mother and turned over to the father who left him, likely changing the course of his life.

    Like the President’s mother, I was blinded by youthful idealism to the extreme dangers of entering a mixed marriage.  While I knew the judicial system historically opposed mixed marriages, I was naïve to the fact that U.S courts have historically treated non-black women who marry outside their race worse than black men and women themselves.  Until 1931, such women would be stripped of citizenship.  Such marriages continued to be illegal until the late 1960s.  


    Since then, such women often lose custody of their “black” looking children.  Such was the case for me when Judge Thomas Koehler of Iowa City, IA ordered that “physical characteristics can be a determiner in awarding custody.”

    Although I was the primary caregiver of my two young children, and the sole breadwinner when I filed for custody from my estranged ex, the Court awarded physically custody to my children’s father.  He is black African.  I am Colombian-American.

    The court did not question that my ex had no known employer (and hasn’t for over six years) or that “money works differently” for him.   Nor was the court interested in my ex’s arrest at the  nation’s Capitol for appearing dressed as a suicide bomber (in the name of ‘art’) or other threats and assaults made towards various individuals throughout the country.  

    In this era, people wrongly assume mothers only lose custody of their children if they have a drug problem or police record of some sort.  However, in contested cases, the man gets custody an overwhelming 70% of the time – and often these men are the most violent.


    In March of 1997, I married Nigerian artist Olabayo Olaniyi in Santa Fe. Our son, Oba, was born in December of that year. The following year, we moved to Iowa where our marriage disintegrated.  When our second child, Aluna, was a month old, we officially separated.  

    My ex left Iowa (green card in hand) and traveled to be an artist-in-residence at the University of Michigan.  I remained in Iowa, moved into my own home, and continued to run my bilingual home daycare.


    Aside from my ex’s philandering and financial irresponsibility toward our children, my life remained relatively peaceful and joyous for a full year-and-a-half…until I filed for divorce.


    At first, my ex played the game of hide-and-seek.  When found, and served with divorce papers, death threats rolled in and my ex filed for sole custody of our children.

    Despite recorded threats, 50/50 custody was ordered.  Devastated, I moved to Michigan to facilitate the temporary order.  Twice over the next few years, I tried to move the case to Michigan where we all lived.  Iowa refused to give up this case. 

    In the meantime, the family member who kept us from living on the streets had her home shot at.  My daughter returned from a visit with a visible mark.  My son confirmed that their dad got mad when she wouldn’t stop crying and asking for me.  Photographs of this incident went ignored.  

    Fortunately I was offered a full-time job after one day of work and moved into my own home six months later.  Bones and moldy gourds were left on my doorstep (courtesy of my ex.)  In addition, my ex and his former student were arrested in D.C. 

    The Iowa court could care less.  As far as Judge Koehler was concerned, my concerns over the aforementioned actions were all proof that I “hated” my ex.  

    After a bizarre seven day trial, where my ex was allowed to sing in Yoruba and admitted to asking me for two abortions, the court awarded him primary custody and a substantial amount of child support (more than his reported income).    


    A blue book will tell you about any vehicle, but nothing exists to warn you about our lemon-of-a-court system.  Now, that I’ve learned of the systemic problems within our judiciary, I would say you’d be insane to trust the court to determine custody.  

    No accountability exists for family courts.  A former prosecuting attorney admitted to me that  “Judge Koehler had his mind up” and the present prosecuting attorney made clear that she won’t prosecute the provable perjury in my case because it’s a “civil matter.”  The media is no better-–refusing to expose corruption unless it happens to involve a movie star or morph into a criminal case.  


    Attorney Diane Post is the leading attorney for this case against the U.S government for its human rights abuses in the Civil Courts of America.  My case will represent the state of Iowa in her action which is supported by several organizations, including the ACLU.  Like men in  the main cases cited, my ex has a record of violence that went ignored.  Unlike people in those cases, my and I children remain alive and manage to thrive in our work, education and allotted time together.  My children have never wavered in wanting to come home and I will spend the summer in court fighting for their return.  

    Unlike before, now I know such action holds danger.  Yet, like my hometown hero – Sojourner Truth – I intend to fight for the just return of my children.  Like Sojourner’s son Peter, my children never would have been stripped from me if it weren’t for the color of their skin

    “Greater Emphasis on Shared Parental Responsibility” (Australian Family 2006 Law Amendment) “in the best interest of kids” gets them killed, again.

    leave a comment »

    In this post, I am reacting to a story which will be posted separately, although excerpts are in my post, and a link at the bottom.  


    I do not know “Jen Jewel Brown,” but the writing is compassionate and detailed, not a polemic, or a dry newspaper report.  

    This type of writing  — about this international problem — engaging attention, mind, and emotions, prompted me to respond, at length.  Because of the length, the post itself is separate.  

    Thank you, “Jen Jewel Brown” for the coverage of this matter, in  tone that engages the emotions, which these should, but doesn’t I feel manipulate them. This is good writing.  Thanks also to the Mom who brought this to my attention on-line.  I do compare notes with women in other countries at time, in hopes that we can do something to stem the tide of child-sacrifices on the altar of “Family.”  

    My “target audience” is those “puzzled” by the failures of family law and disturbed, but perhaps not enough so, by why the experts trusted with fixing these things aren’t succeeding.  I do not speak from the “puzzled” perspective, at all.  My recommendations, and appeals are at the end of the post.  

    I don’t know whether 3 whole posts should be dedicated to one incident, but there is a “to the contrary” response, blaming the family law system for the casualties (i.e., deaths) because it’s “brutal” to men.  This post has been a half day’s (volunteer, incidentally) work, and the other will have to wait, but I will post the link blaming these children’s deaths (and others) on family law’s “brutal” anti-father bias, and those damn domestic violence folk.  

    (This hails from “WATODAY.com” — Breaking News from Perth and West Australia (and was published the week before “Mothers’ Day” in the USA).

    Jen Jewel Brown

    • May 2, 2009

    Suffer the Little Children:



    But first, a quiz:  did you notice, too?

    Does anything seem amiss in the following description?

    Try and picture it before reading further….

    Dalton was left in a state of intense fear. As he drove to his mother’s with the kids, Fehring gave chase.   She rang his mobile 76 times in that 90-minute drive.

    When she hit his mother on arrival, she broke her latest domestic violence order for the second time. Arrested and jailed overnight, and released at midday the next day, Fehring was in a savage mental state.

    A.  Does this scenario seem believable, and consistent with other accounts you may have read in the MSM (mainstream media), or statistics you may have studied, about women’s violence towards men (being comparable).

    B.  Have you ever heard a case reported where a woman chased down a man in anger, calling him nonstop for one and a half hours (as he was fleeing with his kids), breaking a court restraining order, and still being angry enough to punch his mother in the face?  Or one that fits this pattern? (picture it….)

    ? ? ? 


    To “A.”  The correct answer should be “yes.”  This does not seem to fit the pattern.  And in this case, it shouldn’t —

    To “B.”  My answer, which may vary with personal experience, for me, is NO.  I haven’t.  (Groups such as “Mens Rights Agency” etc. would say, it could go either way.  But this is the description I read.  Where is the description of a woman doing this?  AND — —  getting away with being released after arrest to go and do it again?)

    Above, I just switched the names, genders, and parties on another (yet another) blunder of Family Law Amended in 2006 to reflect greater empahsis on shared parental responsibility.”  This blunder wasn’t just one single blunder, but a whole series of them resulting in the eventual death of two innocent.  Infants.  In their best interests, of course. He chased her, she didn’t chase him.  He punched HER mother’s nose, and not vice versa.  HE, even after this terrorizing incident, was released from jail the next morning.

    She then (it seems) endured a five-hour-long flight, with her mother, from this man, only six days after one infant was born, and couldn’t handle it.  She had a breakdown and was hospitalized en rte.  I can see why her mother might have fled, too.

    This is how the family courts responded to that knowledge:

    On March 17, 2004, in a 14-minute hearing, the Brisbane Family Court gave interim custody of the infant Patrick and his sister Jessie to Jayson Dalton, former One Nation candidate and long-term batterer.”

    Fehring’s solicitor, Ros Byrne, had less than 24 hours warning of Dalton’s bid for custody. She told the judge: “There are domestic violence issues.” That was it.

    Fehring, ill, could not be there. “I have no idea why they gave him custody,” she says. “And I don’t think I’ll ever understand it. They were in no danger, they’d been with mum, she was taking care of them with my sister.

    “My solicitor knew I was petrified. She told the court there were domestic violence issues and yet the children were handed over to a violent man.”


    I don’t know what to do, just me alone, about the nonstop, nonsensical, and unnecessary murder of little kids as a logical consequences of illogical thinking dominating the family courts — not just in my home country (which is not Australia, as below), but around the world.  But I am doing some things (including reporting), and have some suggestions below of what doesn’t work, and possible different approach to take, when going about to “help,” other than picking a side to believe and joining it, or staying “neutral” or remaining “puzzled.”   

    I can only assert, and I have some experiential basis to compare these two on, religion, and family law, that the family courts worldwide have become a religion to themselves, and have all the characteristics of a VERY cruel one.  

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


    In wondering who took leave of whose senses when, (i.e., in trying to analyze this), I think we need to also take a more honest look at whether we really want nation-wide educational systems that take kids away from families in order to protect them from the ignorance, supposedly in their families.  Both of these systems are based on similar premises of helping in competent parents and rescuing children from ignorance and illiteracy.  In the U.S., the outcome of this premise, apart from an ever-increasing budget demanded, factionalism within the ranks, and this region also, education, becoming both an industry and a political endorsement or virtual “death-warrant” depending on one’s constituency — it ALSO has resulted in a literacy rate (the very thing it proposed to fix) trailing the developed world, a populace of people that, on graduating from 8th grade school (around 13/14 years old), still can’t read, but CAN get pregnant, or get someone else pregnant.  They can also get shot at, sexually abused by teachers, or locked down if a rumor of someone with a gun (or someone with a real gun) comes on or near the campus.  They are the target of pharmaceutical corporations and text book corporations, and all kinds of political factions.  Currently, in California, they are again arguing over whether a parent can “opt out” for their kids of “LGBT” training — in the same region where, in the family law, another paradigm reigns, that each child needs both parents, and supposedly mothers have an unfair advantage.  (Was that same-sex parents, or not??).  These school graduates, then class-sorted, and intelligence-tested, are coming out, and some of them making it to college (others not), and now we have family law systems teaching adults (both middle-aged adult AND young adults) “parenting.”  Well, what where they doing for the first eight years of government help?  

    So I do tend to look, both as to cost and results, at both of these systems as related.  I am wondering, how have we somehow gotten politicians who can’t think straight, or a general public who can’t discern what’s going on with the politicians?  There are indeed many questions. I also note that the U.S. is already one of the highest per capital prison nations around (I heard this, anyhow, as to “developed” nations. If this is development, let’s under-develop for a while, eh?)  The effect being that prison is not exactly a deterrent to batterers because the places are crowded already!  


     ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    I have spent close to two decades dealing with abuse, up front first (at home) and thereafter, trying to be female and leave it, with children. Once Internet became accessible, and I regained a bit more freedom to choose who I associated with, I have also been researching and connecting with other men and women both, while also seeing how my personal case progressed through attempting to retain a standing restraining order (i.e., renew it), and how someone coached the person I needed to restrain to dodge it into Family Court, which I can only describe as like “Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.”  (I read this book often during my childhood).  It is as though all the people in there are on psychotropic medicines, but being a world unto themselves, are looking at you as the oddball.  

    One of the most serious mistakes a family law innocent can take is to take ANY of its denizens seriously.  To take them at their words, which are many-syllabic and I say, infantile in rationale.  (That includes innocent observers, too….)

    Another serious mistake is failure to realize how seriously they take themselves (meaning, each other)(not your laws, or their rules of court, or their professional code of ethics, for the most part), and their inherent authority and what tools are at their disposal to make sure you do, or else! (See recent post, where I discuss “kneeling” in august reverence here).

    The SOONER you seriously divest yourself of assuming that terms used bear any relationship to common usage (outside this venue), the better chances of success you will have.   I am a literary sort of person, and invested a lot of time (after successive failures to win a point in this venue) in reading the laws and rules of court.  My opponent didn’t piddle around with this — at all — but went straight for the emotional heartbeat of whatever authority (he) was in front of, and adjusted his story to accommodate.  AND WAS RESPECTED FOR THIS!  He didn’t bother with piddling matters like consistency, truth, or even evidence.  He figured out what resonated and ad-libbed an court order violated himself into being rewarded with total custody of our daughters, no meaningful contact with their mother, and no child support obligations for him — in effect, none of the past due, and the current one promptly stopped.  This dysfunctional system rewarded criminal behavior.  Welcome to “la-la-land,” quite similar to what I had hoped to leave, many years ago, and peaceably rebuild separate lives.  (Oh well!)  

    I don’t think or operate like this, in general as a teacher, a mother, or a professional.  Every profession I’ve been involved in to date has some set of principles which, if repeatedly violated, results in failure of the endeavor.  There ARE operational principles in family law too.  The thing is, understanding what they are.  

    One clue is to understand as quickly as possible what Family Law Courts are NOT.  ONE “what they are not” is clearly “in the best interests of the children” or the general public, as far as I can tell.  Get comfortable with Upside Down World (as did Alice in WOnderland) or get out.  As fast as possible.  I believe the same thing applies for an abusive relationship — the LESS invested said abuser is in the relationship, the safer everyone SHOULD be.  Family Law, is being amended, however, to tip that scale backwards.


    Not just “seeing through a glass, darkly” but literally in reverse — ‘THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS’:


    For those who don’t know the book, here’s three references (all to URLs), the first (only) with the classic illustrations of Alice unnaturally elongated, and then squished into a small box.  The message is altered perspectives.  I read this book through repeatedly as  girl (we were not a TV family…), often in one sitting on a weekend.   My legs would fall asleep,  an odd sensation I thought interesting, and I knew that polishing off the book would do result in a numb leg.  That’s how fascinating it was, with its characters, and Alice’s dialogues with herself, and them, getting her bearings, and finally getting out of this dream (or altered state).

    The difference between “Alice’s” adventures and entering the world of “family law” (in practically any country, I’m coming to believe) is that it is unbelievably different from inside than outside.  The other difference is, some people do not emerge outside triumphant as this heroine did.  Some children never “age out of the system” because someone kills them first.  Or one (or both) of their parents.  (Are the killers of the other parent half men and half women?   Look it up yourself, not from a mother’s group or a father’s group, but from a more authoritative source!)  

    Others become sexual objects, property, or weapons of revenge for others, or money for third parties, although eventually they do reach age 18, forever changed.

    The characters, standards, and self-referential dogma of these circles exacerbates prior situations, or maybe incites a few more, while continuing to enunciate, evaluate, proclaim, and judge situations as if the characters judging were the standard, and the intruders, the alien oddballs that needed a sharp lesson in which way is up.

    So, Get a Flavor of “Alice,” for Reference (Curiouser and Curiouser).  This figure will help your understanding of the domain of family law and associated realms driven by social sciences (and the funding thereof) more, I feel, than a glossary of words, which taken out of context, might be misinterpreted to actually mean what they say:

    From a New York Times blog on migraines (apparently the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) had these:


    “The man who gave us “Alice in Wonderland” suffered from migraine. He was also a mathematician, a clergyman, a photographer, and a wit. He was self conscious about a stammer and may have had sexual proclivities for young girls. It is impossible to know exactly what role migraine played in his creative work.”  (itself a commentary that skill in various professions is not an indicator of innocence or guilt in other areas)


    And another, with an excerpt, shows a few of the characters, and Alice answering back.  She tries to retain some of her former judgment, common sense, and attempts to make the others adhere to a few rules, but each time has her words twisted.  Perhaps this novel is a more accurate relation of what it’s like to deal with people who have something else on their brains, when yours is safety/solvency/justice (and all the usual things one tends to associate with justice venues).  Alice is the newcomer here to the Mad  Tea Party.  THIS is as close a description of what it’s like in these Family Law Venues as anything else.  Note:  when she emerges, no one else knew what she went through.  

    and, from Salon.com, someone’s commentary on it, recalled from her childhood: 


    the “children’s tale” was in brilliant ways coded to be read by adults and was in fact an English classic, a universally acclaimed intellectual tour de force and what might be described as a psychological/anthropological dissection of Victorian England. It seems not to have occurred to me that the child-Alice of drawing rooms, servants, tea and crumpets and chess, was of a distinctly different background than my own. I must have been the ideal reader: credulous, unjudging, eager, thrilled. I knew only that I believed in Alice, absolutely.


    (AUSTRALIAN) Family Law Act amended in 2006.   


    In 2006, the Family Law Act was substantially amended to reflect a greater emphasis on shared parental responsibility. One of the changes required the court to look at two primary considerations when deciding what is in the child’s best interests. The first is the desire for children to have a meaningful relationship with both parents; the second the need to protect them.


    WHY?  The story below dates back to 2004!  (Again, two little kids were killed by a man who had violence and punishment of his wife on his mind already, had been acting it, had been demonstrating already his disregard of court orders — i.e., placing himself above the law – and had been arrested for doing so, which only made him still madder, and less in compliance.  This upside down-a-rabbit-hole and Through the Looking Glass logic (itself detached from threats of being murdered, or having one’s kids murdered, or having to live with — and AROUND — that fear, somehow) is NOT “evidence-based” or “In the child’s best interests.”

    This fear of also trespassing on an idenfitied batterer’s civil rights overrode the innocent party’s ones.

     The court order making this possible happened because the mindset that prompted the 2006 amendment was already in play, obviously, that even if a man chases down his wife punches her mother, and does things that would put him in jail, and staying there longer, if done to a man, or where a previous relationship had not existed) 


    Child abuse expert emeritus professor Freda Briggs, of the education, arts and social sciences division of the University of South Australia, has firm views about changes needed to family law.

    “The level of ignorance by judges and (Family Court) staff about child development, domestic violence and sexual abuse is inexcusable,” she says.

    Judges ignore DV (domestic violence) because (a) some psychologists tell them that men who bash their wives don’t necessarily bash their children and (b) they don’t seem to know that witnessing violence is as damaging to children as being a victim of it. Education is so badly needed.”





    There are number of wise courses of action (hard choices, all of them) which will help those enacting and judging poorly in situations that result in family deaths (unnecessarily) to understand the FIRST priority is to preserve physical life of individuals (that’s what criminal laws, in part, are for), and SECOND, if then, to MAKE DAD HAPPIER BY MORE TIME WITH THE CHILDREN — BUT ONLY IF HE CAN BEHAVE LIKE IN AN ADULT FIRST.  

    Another option, which was proposed over a decade ago by a writer on NOMAS (National Organization of Men Against Sexism — which, FYI, this family law act as amended seems to be, as it was addressed primarily to giver fathers (not mothers) more contact with their kids after divorce).  One might be a rigid and STRICT sorting system to discourage violence against women, which when kids are present, is a horrible role model:  (A)  Case Flow.  You commit violence, you lose access to your kids — PERMANENTLY.  This is called “deterrent.”  

    Then there would be nothing much to discuss in family law except distribution of any property.  And I personally don’t care if anyone who assaults an intimate partner even TWICE, let alone in such awful manners, is financially penalized either.  Why shouldn’t he be?  The devil didn’t make him do it.  His unemployment didn’t make him do it.  SHE didn’t make him do it.  Abuse, like ignorance, is a choice.  It’s a two year old in a grown up body trying to make the world fit his (or her) own definition of how the world should be, and making sure he is the center of attention (via tantrum, throwing things, etc.), until the world IS changed to accommodate.

    Maybe it’s time, and maybe there is a way (in our respective countries) we can get the conversation away from sick social science theories (which many participants, FYI, may not agree with) AND bribery (job -referrals, cronyism, or whatever it took to amend Australia’s Family Law in 2006 to better reflect what’s happening in America, which, FYI, we cannot here keep up with the incidents that are quite similar to the one below, where “Dalton” kills his own offspring because he’s mad.  Or can’t get his own way, even AFTER he gets custody.  “It’s about control, dude.”

    The alternative is to penalize the rest of society, and especially the target.  The alternative is NOT to, as we do in the US, “promote healthy marriage” and then leave doing so up to characters that think like this!  (See “Mad Hatter Tea Party.”).  The alternative is a nonstop, constant drain of time, and transfer of wealth — from the general public, and also from one parent to another, or from both parents to attorneys (and psychologists, etc.).  The alternative is a total drain on public funds that are needed for more noble causes.

    But speaking in public and anywhere else as though judges really are uninformed on the fact that domestic violence occurs, and that disturbed parents sometimes kill their wives, themselves, bystanders, relatives, and responding police officers in the context of a woman — that is called “enabling” talk.  It makes excuses.  Take my word, or ask someone else.  Good grief, get real!  Like Alice in Wonderland, who found herself there, and conversed with the various characters, and emerged with her self-respect intact back into the real world, it is necessary after frequenting such discussions, to get back to reality.  This is NOT about justice!

    (I know of only ONE  single high-profile case reported in my area where the killer was a woman except ONE, in the many years I have been watching and noticing this, since I left my own situation.  That case has some very unique circumstances to both the marriage, and the custody hearings, and I also know the judge involved).  She tried to defend herself, and went to jail.  It sold a lot of newspapers. I have also seen the countenance, attitudes, and behaviors of family court personnel in the context of some extremely high-profile, headline making murders, one of them a triple murder, in the context of a woman leaving a batterer.  We had a man who killed his wife on a weekend exchange, with kids present, buried her body, and was eventually convicted without the body!, but plea-bargained himself down by promising to show the police the body.  Not until he was actually convicted did he change his “I didn’t do it!” story for a minute.)

    We had another one where a man shot the cousin (in the face) because he couldn’t find the wife, who he was after.  In the process, he also tore up a business front and threatened his (brave) adult daughter, who tried to get the gun from him.  We had a woman who had been cautious and attempting to keep a low profile, but she went to church on a weekday morning, apparently before work.  Her ex ambushed her, gunned her down in front of witnesses.  There IS no safe place, it seems, when a mad “ex” is intent on getting even, and obeying laws is the LAST thing at certain times on the brain.  I referred to that last case in my court hearing (same city), loud, and clearly.  My comment was deleted from (never made) the court transcript.  In this hearing (if I have which one right), I had PTSD triggered in recounting the last time I had to interact with my ex, which itself had so frightened me, I swore internally that I would never, the rest of my life, put myself in a position where I had to see this man in person, I could not handle it.  I only had to see him a few more times (THAT year), and stalking has been an issue, and caused me to reframe my livelihood and daily lifestyle ever since, negatively so.  It has also put a severe damper on my plans to assert any future legal rights, as safety is now a definite issue.  

    How’d you like to make those choices?  Leave your kids with a known batterer who won’t obey court orders (any of them, basically) and has not been held accountable by any authority.  And do this after many years in court hearings, and after many years in domestic violence.  

    My case was nowhere near as awful as this woman Fehring, who in 2004 lost her kids after trying to save them (but family law orders curtailed her ability to do so), and I’m struggling.  She is speaking out, and so are many others, in various countries.    We are definitely struggling on many fronts, and we don’t want domestic violence to go down another generation!

    We also (I deal with enough mothers to say I speak for at least many of them) cannot afford the luxury of believing these things persist because of lack of judicial EDUCATION.  It’s more a lack of judicial BACKBONE and ETHICS.  And it’s not only the judges (although they as the ones signing orders, command the most obivous authority).  We hope that people who are not traumatized themselves, or still have some source of income to sustain themselves, and whose children are NOT at risk for speaking out, to FIRST divest themselves of a few myths:

    The judicial and legal and custody evaluator (etc.) circles are indeed capable of being educated, and they ARE.  If you want to know “by whom” (rather than continue to wonder, after the next incident, “why can’t we get it through?” to these circles), see other pages on my cite, or a few other links I’ve recommended.  Study the organizations, grants, funding, and legal structure in YOUR system.  Study also who is pre-empting (it happens, trust me) organizations that once existed to help battered women, or protect them, or advocate, and see who is funding them.  For a dialogue on this, see “justicewomen.org.”  It’s the best explanation I’ve run across.  See also California NOW (CANOW.org) web page on the family court system — it has a history of organizations that is a clue.  See National Alliance for Family Court Justice, which connects the dots better than most places I’ve seen (there is a lot of text to process, but DO SO!).  

    Dedicate a time to becoming an expert yourself.  Then learn to distinguish between experts.

    And follow the money trail.  Money talks.

    WHo was this Dalton man, that murdered kids?  It appears he had a high profile.  Maybe we should, as a public, restrict our adulation to people whose personal lives measure up.  If people hold a public profile, then their personal lives count.  Why shouldn’t they?  These are means by which someone who has been voted into an office or appointed to one, can be judged.  

    You cannot have justice when the doors are closed.  It is not going to happen.

    You cannot have justice when you don’t know who’s funding and appointing the judges.

    it is very difficult in our current lifestyles (I speak for my acquaintance with the US, and I know a good deal of it, particularly as an educator and arts professional) to find time to study and know what our government is doing.  I found (personally) the educational system here to be the greatest timesoaker for my own children and myself, and I also witnessed this same system in poor and in rich neighborhoods.  My perception of the justice in the richer community is that it was far harder on women.  The general level of violent crime appears to be kept down more by the affluence, but this does not reflect, that I can tell, a drop in the domestic violence crime, or even femicides.  This is a different type of crime than street crime.  

    Even the Bible has an entire Book called “Judges” and directly ties the welfare of the nation to the ethics (in the context, of Israel’s religion, which for them was a theocracy).  When the judges screwedup, the whole nation suffered.  It’s no different today..

    I do not know of any other way than enough of the public — or well-positioned public — coming out of what I call the collective “trance” that “government” means “good guys” and that our job in life is to just go about our business and hope that they are going about theirs properly.  My faith says we are to pray for these people, but with prayer comes a duty to watchfulness.  This will help you become a more fully alert — and helpful to your neighbors, next time they go “through it” — citizen.  It is, really, more important than how successful you are in your profession, I’d say.  How successful is it necessary to be to have “made” it?

    We also need to listen to older generations talk about the transitions they have been through, and resist institutions that separate old from child-raising from young, except in highly mediated situations.

    Well, this has become a post, so the story I am blogging about will be in the next one. . . . 

    Please wake up, and help join men and women who are studying these topics. LISTEN to the stories of mothers who have lost their kids to violence, or to no-contact or supervised orders only with as much interest as you LISTEN to the stories and blogs of men complaining about the shoe being on their foot.  LISTEN also (I posted yesterday) the parallel stories about the “state” removing children from competent parents.   The social “science” paradigm is a dangerously presumptive one.  It applies general principles, often arrived at without proper input from the people they affect, does so whimsically and unevenly.  

    The instrument itself is too blunt and too powerful.  We need more stories like Alice In Wonderland, and more symbolic reference points to tell the truth about the family courts, and cut through the “therapeutic jurisprudence” to recognize where jurisprudence is itself iatrogenic.

    We need to start looking back and talking back.  It’s a commitment, for sure, but look at what’s at stake.

    It will require losing some of one’s time, and probably personal peace, unless you are carrying it on the inside.

    I hope some of this post sank in, as I wrote it in one sitting and entirely in response to a single, tragic, story (among many) that family law apparatus in Australia chose to ignore.  Someone has to address the conflict of interest between criminal and civil and family law in your country.

    If you want to know where a lot of this came from, it is, I believe, from an organization in the US, which has been proselytizing like Jehovah’s Witness, only knocking on different doors.  They have money, they have (self-referential, but still it has an impact) prestige, they have technical superiority to MOST women’s websites, or DV websites I’ve seen.  You cannot judge the truth or falsehood of a viewpoint by how glitzy its website is.  The one I most respect, currently, has the least “glitz,” but I have spoken personally with the owner and checked out the facts.  This blog is not glitzy, but show me where else on the web someone is posting the links to the funding, AND the organizations behind the funding, AND some of the key Presidential (US) letters driving this.  And I’m not done yet.

    Look at the “AFCC”  Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, a group that was run initially out of the Los Angeles County Courthouse address, but illegally so, and not incorporated as an entity (according to my single reading of this) for many, many years, until they were caught, and finally did.  This means that they cheated the American taxpayers by failing to pay taxes.  Money laundering appears to have been involved.  Initially custody evaluators got free tuition (to seminars) and attorneys did not.  Judges taught some of them.   This group has CONSISTENTLY ignored that “PAS” is junk science, and ignored the published criminal prosecutors reading of it, too.  If they had been operating in the case of Fehring v. Dalton, they would have recommended ordered Ms. Fehring into a parenting plan to adjust her unreasonable fear of her exhusband, and if she didn’t fork over her kids for visitation, they woudl have jailed HER, not him.  They are highly influential.  Their PAS man was a known pedophile who eventually committed suicide.  We are STILL in our courtrooms having male judges caught with their pants down or their hands up their secretary’s blouse, making her life hell, or judges taking kickbacks to send innocent juveniles away (I just recited only:  NJ, TX, PA examples.  The NJ judge had a porno collection that I couldn’t even stand to read about, when I heard.  He flew to Russia to have sex with a boy, and as I recall, had it filmed).  Women judges are/can be just as dishonest, cruel, and callous in their decisions.  I have sat under some of them.  It’s not JUST about gender, it’s about the system of family law, and the class, and information, and associations, gap between this system and the general public.

    Then go read their history.

    Then go look at their pamphlets and some of the personnel.  (I did).  This group is international in scope.  It appears that different countries have similar type groups with other names.  

    Other issues include retaliation by groups and associations upon ethical and honest judges and professionals.  This retaliation can be as severe as it is upon a parent leaving abuse, or a parent reporting child abuse.  

    MOST OF US do not want to think that people who THINK like this could be running not only our local, but also some of our national policies.  However, the fact is, that any position of power is going to attract people with noble purpose, and corrupt people.  It is also going to attract people who THINK their purpose is noble, but will commit crime, do secret deals, and ride roughshod over anyone who gets in their way.  This is what I would call a “godless” perspective — if you can get away with something, so much the better.  It also views certain classes of people as inferior BECAUSE of their class.  (This attitude is also common religious circles too, obviously).  



    Any group that claims it is going to eradicate violence, crime, murder, kidnappings, theft, and similar awful behaviors, from the face of the planet is narcissistic.  This ain’t likely to happen.  I would not follow anyone piping that tune.  Newflash:  Obama ain’t going to.

    I would similar not follow any crew that promises it’s going to raise the national total educational level to competitive (on my dollar) until it’s already shown some significant successes.  SHOWN them, not just proclaimed them to exist where they don’t, and out of context.

    I have some perspective to say this:   I was a top performer at a top suburban public high school, according to its standards, and KNOW that I was bored in school.  I have worked in a variety of schools and attended school in another country.  I have also (unfortunately) hung around a lot of educators in my time (not my first choice of associates, I’d rather hang out with someone passionate about WHAT they teach rather than HOW (everyone else) should be teaching).   I then raised my own daughters in tough c ircumstances to a level of all-round excellence, and watched an educator who had never been a parent come after me, having mentally deleted both my own personal history (which was known to include violence and professional-level teaching ability, and performance) at the time.  There was no way a rational person could have considered me under-educated or incompetent to raise my own kids.  Only an Alice in Wondcrland character, who had his brain filled of theory and belief such that there was no room for input (from the eyes, ears, and neighborhood schools, etc.) would have come to this conclusion.  

    I was faced with an anomaly and had to make up my mind how to view this.  In understanding a few more facts (which I didn’t have at the time) and continuing to listen to the changes of tone, language (and a fast “flip”) in behavior from this person, and put this into the larger contextt, I came to the conclusion that ONE thing that allowed such a person to come up with such an idea was the educational theories he’d (just recently) been exposed to, without sufficient humbling experience to challenge them — such as becoming a parent, or dealing with enough of them personally, to get some insight). 

    Which comes to another thing to be studied in family law:  Australia’s system has a history.  If you’re local, keep posting it!  Talk it up.  Send a clear message that it is being looked at and expected to hold to a standard.  It is best, I think, to get this information OUT before there are gag orders on it.  

    There are organizations and associations that screen, teach and certify people to practice in MOST professions.  These need to be looked at.  I have.  I have seen what it takes tobecome a “family law specialist” in my state, and this explains to me where the “gap” is, and why, and why when I go into court again, should this be required, I will not, I am sure tolerate any family law attorney to represent me.  Why?  They are not self-aware enough of personal biases.  I am not sure whether I would even want such input in preparing information, because to date, the few attorneys I’ve been in front of (or hired) have all encouraged me to downplay and sign away, compromise, and bargain things that were non-negotiable in my case. This is how we get sold down the river at times — lack of information.

    Even then, I’d say, “well, you can experiment on someone else’s children, thank you — and pay for it yourself, or they can pay.”  These are simply Pied Pipers.  Don’t dance to that tune.  The fairy tale (if you know it) exists for a reason, and we’ve come to an age when I think those old fairy tales are a lot more reliable indicators of truth than, say:

    “Evidence of Adapation of Parenting Programs to Father Engagement” (or whatever the forgettable phrase was on THAT grant opportunity)

    This post has not been proofread (and probably will not), you just got a piece of my mind and heart.  I appeal to people who say they are concerned and want to help, to do so in an intelligent, and experience-informed manner.  

    If a fire is burning that is destroying homes, building, and costing lives, talk to some firefighters!  Find out what’s feeding it, and how to smother the principle needs of any fire.

    Fuel, Oxygen, Heat (as the type of fire may be or may not, or a “chemical” burn).  

    And figure out, if you have a faith in a supernatural being, your relationship with Him, Her, It, or Them.  

    Buckle down and get ready for the ride.  You will need a seat belt for sure.

    The subject matter that prompted this post is in the next one, although this is the link:

    Suffer the Little Children– to reach Adulthood!

    “On March 17, 2004, in a 14-minute hearing, the Brisbane Family Court gave interim custody of the infant Patrick and his sister Jessie to Jayson Dalton, former One Nation candidate and long-term batterer.”

    My next post will post this.






    British Voice on International Problem: Family Courts

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    PLEASE NOTE:  This is not my post or writing!  I post it here to get your attention.  Unlike most of my posts, this one has none of my commentary.
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    June 17, 2006

    Guilty until proved innocent: the grotesque reality of family courts

    Will we be able to report if a mother kills herself through the grief of loss?

    THERE IS SOMETHING I wanted to write about today. But I cannot. I cannot even tell you that I cannot tell you, because to do so might be to imply what it was I wanted to write about. And that might lead you to infer that I was referring to a situation that I should not refer to. Get it? No?

    I am beginning to understand why so few journalists write about cases in the family courts. The lawyers are patiently diminishing my file of potential cases week by week. But at least I am learning about the armoury of secrecy that social services can deploy which prevents scrutiny of the removal of children from their parents. 

    John Sweeney, an investigative reporter and presenter on the BBC’s Real Story, describes reporting on the family courts as being as difficult as reporting from Zimbabwe. Of the seven child abuse cases he has covered in the criminal courts over the past few years, all have ended in the quashing of convictions. Some of the defendants — Angela Cannings and Sally Clark — have become household names. But of the five cases he has covered in the family courts, all have ended in the parents losing their children for ever. You will probably never know the names of those people. Their names must be changed and their faces blocked out, to “protect” the children. It is hard to expose miscarriages of justice when the stories are drained of human content. 

    What I have found extraordinary is how often highly able lawyers are uncertain about what we can and cannot write. Despite the issuing of a model order last year by Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, then head of the Family Division, the court orders that limit press coverage are still often so badly drafted as to be completely unclear. Sometimes the order that is drawn up by the court bears no relation to the draft that the press was sent in advance of the hearing. Sometimes we are notified of the order too late to make representations against it. It costs money to fight these orders. Local papers in particular cannot afford to consult lawyers all the time. The result is self-censorship: one errs on the side of caution. We end up conspiring to silence families. 

    The irony is that the injunctions are becoming more draconian just as a door is opening in Whitehall. Harriet Harman, the Minister for Constitutional Affairs, has announced that she will consult this year on opening up the family courts to greater scrutiny. This is a positive step. But make no mistake: the same old authorities are gearing up to argue that openness is inappropriate where children are involved. 

    Even if that particular battle is won, there will still be miscarriages of justice. For the Government’s consultation will not deal with some fundamental unfairnesses at the heart of the system. The first is the threshold for conviction. In a criminal court, you are innocent until proved guilty, and you can only be convicted if your guilt is beyond reasonable doubt. 

    A family court, because it cannot imprison you — only condemn you to serve a different kind of life sentence by taking away your child — “convicts” on a balance of probabilities. You cannot plead not guilty. In fact you are often penalised for not showing “remorse”. The assumption of guilt starts with the first referral to social services and continues into the courtroom, where few judges allow parents to call experts in their defence. New medical research is slowly demolishing the textbooks on child abuse: including various new and innocent explanations for certain types of fracture that are currently thought by social workers to be diagnostic of abuse. But this new thinking is rarely permitted into the family courtroom. 

    Wrongs are compounded by the irreversible nature of the judgments. It is generally accepted that once a child has been adopted, the parents cannot see that child again even if they have managed to prove their innocence. They cannot even refer in public to that child by name. Yet this is utterly wicked. Yes, it will be desperately tricky to reunite innocent parents with children who have been adopted by other loving families. But it is a challenge that society must rise to. It is just not good enough to use the manifest difficulties as an excuse for not even trying. Lorraine Harris, who was cleared after serving a jail sentence for shaking her baby to death, when it was proved that he had a blood disorder, has little hope of ever seeing her other child again. We only know of her because her case went through the criminal court. How can this be? How can we pile wrong upon wrong? 

    The more I study this area, the more unanswered questions appear. Will we be able to report if a mother kills herself through the grief of loss? Or will they say that this, too, would not be in the interests of the child? Will we be able to report if an adopted child continues to suffer from precisely the complaints that were originally taken to be evidence of abuse? If the family courts are opened up, will there be any redress for parents who protest their innocence, who were convicted in secret? A little more light, please, into the dark corners.

    Written by Let's Get Honest

    May 13, 2009 at 2:25 pm

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